VIP / VIPR

Become a Very Involved Psychologist (VIP) or Very Involved Psychological Researcher (VIPR):

Are you a CPA member who’s either interested or already engaged politically, and would like to advocate on behalf of psychological health and research?

While awareness about mental health issues among federal politicians is at an all time high, more work is needed to turn awareness into action; making evidence-based care available to those who need it and supporting research critical to public policy and programming.

The CPA is looking to engage its membership in its advocacy efforts in a direct way. We want to leverage your personal experiences and potential connections with local Members of Parliament (MPs). No one is a better advocate than someone who is informed and interested in connecting with their local MP; especially if they may already have established a working relationship with them.

While polls show that healthcare is of key importance to Canadians, it isn’t often a ballot box issue.  However, CPA wants to ensure that psychological health and research get on the agendas of politicians after the election.  We are hoping to get a number of dedicated members to visit their local MPs, either alone or in small groups, to discuss how the federal government should move on mental health and psychological research. No prior political experience is necessary, just time and an interest to discuss the issues.  While research funding, primarily through Canada’s granting councils, is national, health care service is largely a provincial and territorial jurisdiction.  CPA’s health care message, directed at the federal government, calls for parity legislation and incentives for employers across the country to provide clinically meaningful amounts of coverage through private health insurance plans.

If the VIP/VIPR program is of interest to you, please sign up by emailing your details to advocacy@cpa.ca.

After the election, the CPA will send you a roadmap for how you can engage with your MP, along with information about what issues related to practice and/or research you might want to discuss with them. We won’t be telling you what specifically to say, only offering some suggested topics to discuss. We can support you in preparing for a meeting and would love to hear how it went.  If you let us know that your MP might be a champion for psychological health and research, we can follow up with meetings with them here in Ottawa.

We hope that you will find our advocacy microsite useful in informing yourself about issues related to psychological care and research in Canada.  We hope you can take these issues to your candidates’ pre-election, and your MP post election, and talk to them about how psychological health care issues and research affect your community.

Let’s work together to make psychological change happen!