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Advocacy and Research

Advocacy issues are driven, to a large extent, by the values and beliefs of our Organization and much of what we believe as an Organization is evident in the programs and services we deliver. CMHA’s founder Dr. Clare Hincks viewed the CMHA’s “social advocacy” as its most important role because of its potential to affect so many people. This role of advocate means to “speak in favour” or “recommend publicly.” The activities are non-partisan and represent no particular ideology. The Association’s recommendations represent the views of the ill and their families along with the conclusions of modern science, all approved by an elected Board of Directors representing a broad section of the community. In many cases advocacy is done in coalitions with other “like-thinking” organizations.

How Does CMHA ‘Advocate’?

CMHA’s goals include “ensuring the best possible care, treatment and rehabilitation of the mentally ill.” In our society, “ensuring” care inevitably means influencing the Canadian political system, whose activities now affect the happiness and well being of our citizens in innumerable ways. Governments provide “essential” services like health, education, defense, communication etc. They determine laws and policies, they police or regulate activities, they finance programs, they market resources and so on. In other words, government policies have a major impact on the well being of our citizens and influencing these policies is critical to “ensuring care.”.

Some of the strategies used in our advocacy role include:

  • Developing positions for Board approval
  • Preparing and submitting briefs
  • Monitoring responses to presentations
  • Liaising with government and other agencies on matters of policy and legislation
  • Organizing communities for social action
  • Investigating consumer complaints
  • Researching public opinion and community service
  • Participating in human services coalitions
  • Participating on government advisory committees
  • Recommending legislative improvements

Desjardins Financial Security Health Survey

SOM Surveys, Opinion Polls and Marketing conducted the survey on behalf of Desjardins Financial Security between February 12th and March 14th, 2007. In total, 1,508 interviews were conducted with a representative sample of Canadian adults. The sampling plan provides proportional estimates with a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 2.6% at a 95% confidence level (19 times out of 20). The data was statistically weighted to accurately reflect the composition of Canadians by region, gender and age based on Statistics Canada’s 2001 Census information.

Support Needs Report

In 2003, CMHA/PEI Division was contracted by the Department of Health and Social Services (the department) to conduct research into the support needs of people on Prince Edward Island with severe and persistent mental illness.