5 ways to advocate for child and youth health
To encourage policy-makers to examine their progress on child and youth issues and to foster discussion among Canadians, the Canadian Paediatric Society produces a biennial status report on public policy affecting children and youth. This report examines how well provincial/territorial and federal governments use their legislative powers to promote the health and safety of children and youth. The fifth edition, released in June 2016, continues to assess key indicators of child and youth health and rates progress on these indicators since 2012. The report includes recommendations to improve public policy affecting children and youth, actions based both on need and evidence.
The report alone will not effect change. We need members, organizations and individuals to join with us to call governments to account. Here are some ways you can help:
- Send Are We Doing Enough? to the public health units, family physicians and other health professionals in your community. Ask your colleagues to do the same.
Write an op-ed or a letter to the editor to your local newspaper on an issue you feel passionate about. Reference Are We Doing Enough?
Call, write or schedule a meeting with your local MP, MPP/MLA or local Medical Officer of Health. Send or bring a copy of Are We Doing Enough? and focus on the one issue you are most passionate about. Click here for links to provincial/territorial and federal government contact information. If you feel it is appropriate, discuss the issue with children and youth, and ask them to write their own letters. Letters from children require special attention by ministers’ staffs and tend to have a greater impact.
Make a brief presentation. Sometimes you get an opportunity to do a brief presentation on an issue of choice. This may be with a local politician, at a local school board, or among other health care colleagues. Use Are We Doing Enough? as a starting point to educate communities on how they can make a difference in child and youth health.