Parents for Children’s Mental Health
In 2009 PCMH was involved in a complex process of increasing its own capacity to advocate Child and Youth Mental Health issues at the provincial level, and coordinating its own advocacy efforts with the diverse stakeholders in the wider mental health community. Stratcom was asked to provide unbiased expert advice regarding how parent members and youth interest in different communications and advocacy options that had emerged.
Focus groups with parents and youth, a communications workshop and a strategic planning process established a strong internal consensus that PCMH stakeholders’ most important policy objective is the comprehensive reorganization of child and youth mental health services based on ‘family-centred’ principles of treatment and service delivery. This conclusion, combined with the insight that PCMH’s key contribution to promoting family- centred care lay in engaging and mobilizing families, provided the strategic framework for developing an overall communications platform (messages, audiences, channels), and prioritizing the development of community-based chapters.
Based on the results of this first phase of consultation and facilitated planning, a subsequent phase of work delivered customized strategic planning and communications workshops for PCMH chapters in Chatham, London, Ottawa and St. Catharines. During this three-year period Stratcom also provided ongoing assistance in developing and refining messaging in press releases and media advisories, opinion pieces and talking points.