Advocacy Tools

As trusted healthcare professionals, psychiatric-mental health nurses are positioned to be a voice for persons living with mental illness and those who care for them. The tools on this page are provided to help you raise public awareness about the life saving work you do.

Contacting Government Representatives | Letters to the Editor | Tools from Other Organizations



Contacting Your Government Representative:

In order to act as an advocate for mental health, the provision of a basic framework on how to connect with our representatives is critical.

Who to contact & where:
 

How to share your message in a letter:


Guidelines

  • Focus on only one policy
  • Be constructive and polite
  • Keep the letter concise and include facts, observations and statistics.
  • Avoid jargon.


Example Letter


Click here for an example of a letter (word document) supporting legislation which would increase access to care by removing limits to scope of practice.

 

 

 

 


Paragraph I: Introduce yourself and the Issue/policy you are addressing

  • Introduce yourself and your credentials
  • Include that you are a constituent.
  • State why you are writing the letter.
  • Name the bill or issue you are addressing.
  • Tell your legislator how the issue would impact you and those to whom you provide care.

Paragraph II: Make a Case for your Argument

  • Use facts, observations and statistics from your state or community to strengthen your argument. (Use citations if appropriate)
  • Include 2-3 sentences of your personal experience (if applicable).

Paragraph III: Affirm Action and Offer Information

  • Restate the name of the bill/policy and what action you would like your representative to take.
  • Establish yourself as resource. You are an expert in your field and can provide additional information regarding your experience, the issue/policy, and the impact of proposed legislation.
  • Request a response to your letter.
  • Thank them for their time.

Composing a Letter to the Editor:

Responding to a news item in a local publication with a Letter to the Editor can be an effective tool for disseminating information about the impact of psychiatric-mental health nurses.

Tools

  • Letter to the Editor example.
  • General information about psychiatric-mental health nursing to share.

Tips

  • Be prompt. Send in your response to an article within a day or two of its publication.
  • Be concise. Stick to one topic if possible. It is likely there is a word limit guideline for your submission. (i.e. 200 words)
  • Be professional and positive. Try language that is not argumentative but rather solution oriented.
  • Request to be identified with your credentials. (i.e. RN)


Tools from Other Organizations:

AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC NURSES ASSOCIATION and APNA-Logoare registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as trademarks of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.