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Tools to help you feel empowered to advocate for your profession.

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) is the national bilingual association representing professionally trained counsellors engaged in the helping professions. Our goal is to ensure that, as the national voice for counselling and psychotherapy in Canada, we advocate for, and with, all our members and for the clients they serve.

CCPA has made great strides in recent years to raise the profile of the counselling/psychotherapy profession, but there is much more to be done. The Association is committed to building an even more focused and proactive advocacy strategy. Our advocacy success depends heavily on members delivering a single, united, and strong message to decision makers. This is where you come in! By ensuring your personal voice is heard alongside CCPA’s continuous national, provincial and local efforts, members can help move things forward quicker and contribute from a grassroots perspective to affect change from all levels.

Health care continues to be an issue of broad public concern and stakeholders at all levels are increasingly responsive to the need for improved access to care. Counsellors and psychotherapists are an important part of the solution and can assist in reversing negative trends. Help us spread this message!

In joining this grassroots movement, you will not be alone. CCPA will be here to support you if you have any questions or require assistance in reaching out to elected officials and other political decision makers, unions, employers and insurance companies.

This kit explains the challenges our profession currently faces, as well as our recommendations to address these issues. This kit also provides instructions for contacting stakeholders, key messaging, how to prepare for your meeting, and post-meeting actions.

We look forward to working with each and every one of you as we pull together to raise our advocacy efforts to the highest level.

Cover of Advocacy Toolkit

Download the Advocacy Toolkit

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is CCPA hoping to achieve from this advocacy work?

The Advocacy Toolkit is intended to help increase the profile of the counselling and psychotherapy profession and improve access to the services of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists across Canada, by supporting grassroots advocacy efforts to convince external stakeholders and decision recognize and provide coverage for these services.

Why can’t CCPA do the advocacy without the involvement of members?

CCPA’s advocacy efforts have demonstrated that external stakeholders and decision makers (politicians, unions, employers and insurance companies) want to hear from the people they serve! We need our members to engage in grassroots advocacy efforts that give one loud and unified message about why they need to improve access to qualified counsellors and psychotherapists.

Can you summarize what I need to do?

After reading about CCPA’s key messages, send one or more of our letter templates from the Advocacy Toolkit to your Federal and Provincial Government representative, employer, and/or any health insurance plans or unions with which you are a member. If they agree to a meeting, contact CCPA’s Director of Public Affairs and we will help you prepare for your meeting, and perhaps even join your meeting if it is virtual. We will provide support, education and resources to help you with your meeting. After the meeting, send a thank you letter and let us know how the meeting went!

How can CCPA support me as I engage in this kind of advocacy?

The Advocacy Toolkit provides you everything you need to know, from an outline of the issues, to our key messages, letter templates, a free recorded webinar, and more! If you are able to secure a meeting, contact CCPA to see if a staff member can to join your meeting and provide in-person support. Review CCPA’s government submissions, issue papers, infographics and more on the Advocacy page of our website to get better informed! And as always, contact us if you have any questions.

Is it ethical for me to ask my clients to advocate?

While you can’t approach a client and suggest or encourage them to advocate on your behalf, you can provide resources to clients if they are interested in speaking out on this issue, or if they are lacking coverage for your services under their healthcare plan. You can also put links on your website or around your office for clients to access if they are interested. Ultimately, you are not soliciting your client and your client is advocating for themselves; you are supporting their efforts to access counselling and psychotherapy services.

What else is CCPA doing to advocate for me?

Please visit the Advocacy page on CCPA’s website to discover the various ways CCPA is representing members and advocating for improves access to counselling and psychotherapy services!

Will this help exempt us from charging GST/HST?

A strong and united voice that increases the profile of counsellors and psychotherapists and highlights the negative trends in accessing qualified care will assist all advocacy efforts. While you may wish to focus your advocacy efforts on the issue of HST, increasing the awareness of these key issues in general will move us in the right direction. In the meantime, CCPA will continue to support regulation and work with IMPACT Public Affairs to address the GST/HST exemption issue with the Ministry of Finance.