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.
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:
This government sponsored website will assist novices in contacting their government representatives. (Thank you for sharing this link, APNA member Debi Schuhow!)
Not sure of your congressional district or who your member is? This service will assist you by matching your ZIP code to your congressional district, with links to your member's website and contact page.
A listing of the current members of the Senate, which included contact information and can be sorted by state, name, or class.
How to share your message in a letter:
- Focus on only one policy
- Be constructive and polite
- Keep the letter concise and include facts, observations and statistics.
- Avoid jargon.
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.
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.
- 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)