policy and Advocacy

Overview

Advocating to improve the quality of life for people and families affected by mental illness has always been a priority for the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO). Since our inception in 1979, SSO has been actively advocating for policy and system changes benefitting people with schizophrenia and psychosis and their families. Our commitment to community engagement, empowerment and system change has led us to draw upon the strengths of those directly affected by schizophrenia and psychotic illnesses, as well as mobilize individuals, sectors and organizations to advocate for change.
  
How You Can Be Involved
The advocacy work that SSO does would not be possible without support in communities from people like you. Each and every person has the power to change the system for the better, and we see it as part of our job to help you do this.
 
SSO encourages people living with or affected by mental illness, their families and anyone else with an interest in creating meaningful change to become an advocate. Social change or changes to the way care and support is structured today can significantly improve quality of life for all who are affected by mental health issues. There are several ways that you can do this:
 
1) Become part of our Advocacy Coalition! By joining the Coalition, you will: 
• Stay informed about current national, provincial and local mental health initiatives
• Hear from SSO about ways you can be involved in advocacy and provide input into policy
• Learn more about effective advocacy strategies
• Be part of a common initiative and make a difference

To sign up to receive information about emerging issues and advocacy opportunities, e-mail info@schizophrenia.on.ca with the subject line "Access to Treatment Coalition" or call 1-800-449-6367.
 
2) Do your own advocacy 
• Contact your MPP
• Write a letter to the editor
• Share your story through speaking engagements
• Talk to the media
• Spread the word to family, friends and co-workers to increase awareness about schizophrenia                     and psychosis and the barriers that people living with these conditions face.

Youth Advocacy Toolkit

This toolkit is specially designed for young people who want to advocate for change in the mental health. This toolkit gives you the tools, tips, and resources to make a difference. You can download it here

Corrections Reform

SSO leads the Coalition on Reforming Segregation in Ontario's Correctional Institutions. The Coalition is made up of organizations and individuals interested in promoting mental health, health equity and restorative justice.
 
The Coalition will work to call attention to the damaging practice of segregation and to the immediate reforms needed to mitigate associated harms across provincial correctional facilities for incarcerated persons.
 
In addition, following the introduction of corrections legislation in early 2018, the Coalition will work to ensure that critical reforms from the Independent Advisor on Corrections Reform’s interim report are being implemented consistently across correctional facilities and are not undone if there is a change in government.

Coalition Members:
 
Dr. Michaela Beder
Criminalization and Punishment Education Project – University of Ottawa and Carleton University
Empowerment Council
John Howard Society of Ontario
Mothers Offering Mutual Support (MOMS)
Ontario Correctional Nurses’ Interest Group
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
Schizophrenia Society of Ontario
St. Leonard’s Society of Canada


View the Coalition's key messages here

Letters

Response to Letter to Suzanne McGurn, Assistant Deputy Minister and Executive Officer, Ontario Public Drug Programs, re: equal access to a variety of medications and dosages in light of the recent introduction of the OHIP+ Children and Youth Pharmacare program (June 2018) (PDF

Letter to Suzanne McGurn, Assistant Deputy Minister and Executive Officer, Ontario Public Drug Programs, re: equal access to a variety of medications and dosages in light of the recent introduction of the OHIP+ Children and Youth Pharmacare program (February 2018) (PDF)

Letter to Minister of Community and Social Services Helena Jaczek re the report, “Income Security: A Roadmap for Change” (The Roadmap) (January 2018) (PDF)

Letter to Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins re access to proper care and supports for individuals living with schizophrenia and psychosis (Nov 2017) (PDF)

Letter to Assistant Deputy Minister and Executive Officer Re: Importance of Timely Access to a Range of Treatments for People Affected by Mental Illness (July 2017) (PDF)

Letter to Minister of Health and Long Term Care Re: Targeted Mental Health Funding (November 2016) (PDF)

Letter to Suzanne McGurn re: Proposed Amendments to Ontario Regulation 201/96 made under the Ontario Drug Benefit Act (August 2015) (PDF) (Word)

Letter to Minister of Health and Long Term Care regarding national pharmacare (December 2014) (PDF) (Word)

Letter to OACP regarding Non-Conviction Records: OACP Consultation and Recommendations (February 2014)   (PDF)   (Word)
 
Letter to Minister of Education regarding Supporting Minds: An Educator’s Guide to Promoting Students’ Mental Health and Well-being (October 2013)    (Word)
 
Letter to Prime Minister Harper regarding New Employment Insurance Special Benefit for Parents of Critically Ill Children (September 2012)   (PDF)   (Word)
 
Letter to Minister Kenney regarding Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act (August 2012)   (PDF)   (Word)
 
Letter to Dr. Goldbloom regarding Mental Health Strategy for Canada (May 2012)   (PDF)   (Word)
 
Letter to Premier McGuinty regarding People with Mental Illness in Correctional Settings and Potential Implications of Bill C-10 (December 2011)   (PDF)   (Word)
  
Letter to Prime Minister Harper regarding Bill C-10, Safe Streets and Communities Act (December 2011)   (PDF)   (Word)
 
Response to Working Group’s Response to Concerns Raised by the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario and ARCH Disability Law Centre (January 2011)   (PDF)   (Word)
 
Joint Letter to Minister Toews regarding Use of Solitary Confinement in Canadian Prisons (March 2010)  (PDF)  
 
Letter to the Ontario Human Rights Commission regarding Draft Policy on Mental Health Discrimination and Police Record Checks (March 2008)   (Word)
 
Letter to Helen Stevenson regarding the Proposed Regulations under the Ontario Drug Benefit Act and the Drug Interchangeability and Dispensing Fee Act (August 2006)   (PDF)   (Word)

Papers

Policy and Position Papers
Discussion Paper on the Cannabis Act (October 2017) (PDF)

Prescription for Holistic Care: Improving Access to Medications through Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy (June 2015) (PDF) (Word)

Mental Health Law in Ontario: Unpacking Policy and Legislation. Exploratory Report (April 2013)  (PDF)  
 
Provincial Correctional Response to Individuals with Mental Illnesses in Ontario: A Review of Literature. (March 2012)    (PDF)   (Word)
 
Position Statement: People with Mental Illness in Federal and Provincial Correctional Setting (December 2011)    (PDF)   (Word)
 
Double Jeopardy: Deportation of the Criminalized Mentally Ill (March 2010)    (PDF)   (Word)
 
SSO Position on Access to Medications (November 2009)    (PDF)   (Word)
 
Reducing Emergency Room Wait Times for People in Psychiatric Distress: Recommendations from the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (October 2008)    (PDF)   (Word)
 
Caring Together: Families as Partners in the Mental Health and Addiction System (November 2006)    (PDF)  
 
Early Intervention in Psychosis: Position Paper (April 2004)    (PDF)   (Word)

Submissions

Submissions and Briefs
Schizophrenia Society of Ontario's Submission to the Ontario Legislature's Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs 2018 Pre-Budget Consultations (January 2018) (PDF)

Submission from the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario on the New National Immigration Detention Framework (May 2017) (PDF)

Schizophrenia Society of Ontario's Submission to the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs 2017 Pre-Budget Consultations (January 2017) (PDF)

Schizophrenia Society of Ontario’s Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance’s Pre-Budget Consultations (August 2016) (PDF)

Schizophrenia Society of Ontario Submission to the Provincial Segregation Review Team (May 2016) (PDF)

LTAHS Supportive Housing Submission (July 2015) (PDF)  (Word)

Submission for the Disability Tax Credit Consultation (December 2014) (PDF) (Word

Interactions between Police and Individuals with Mental Illnesses – Review. Submission from the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (March 2014)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
Improving the Legal Aid System in Ontario to Better Support Clients with Mental Health and Addictions Issues (March 2014)  (PDF)   (Word)
  
SSO Position on Proposed Changes to the Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) Provision under Bill C-54 (March 2013)   (Word)
 
Improving Ontario’s Social Assistance System. Schizophrenia Society of Ontario’s Response to: “Discussion Paper 2: Approaches for Reform” (March 2012)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
Review of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) Program:  Submission to the Department of Finance from the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (December 2011)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
SSO-CMHA Ontario joint submission: Improving Ontario’s Social Assistance System. Response to: “A Discussion Paper: Issues and Ideas” (August 2011)  (PDF)  (Word)
 
Submission on the Federal Community Corrections Strategy (April 2011)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
SSO-CMHA Follow-up Submission:  Response to the Draft Proposed Integrated Accessibility Regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. Final Public Review Period (March 2011)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
Recommendations on the Creation of an Ontario Nutritional Supplement Program – Joint Submission on Special Diet Allowance (November 2010)   (Word)
 
SSO-CMHA Ontario Joint Submission: Response to the Proposed Integrated Accessibility Regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (October 2010)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
Submission to the Minister’s Advisory Group on Mental Health and Addictions, Every Door is the Right Door (September 2009)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
Pre-Budget Submission (January 2009)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
Recommendations Concerning the Personal Health Information Protection Act from the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (August 2008)  (PDF)   
 
Schizophrenia Society of Ontario and Schizophrenia Society of New Brunswick Submission to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security: TASER STUDY (April 2008)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
Pre-Budget Submission (January 2008)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
Submission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy, Legislative Assembly of Ontario on
Bill 102: An Act to amend the Drug Interchangeability and Dispensing Fee Act and Ontario Drug Benefit Act (June 2006)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
Pre-budget Submission (November 2006)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
Pre-budget Submission (January 2006)  (PDF)   (Word)
 
Pre-budget Submission (February 2004)  (PDF)   (Word)