Are you passionate about creating change in your community? Do you want to add your voice to an issue you feel strongly about. Writing a letter to the editor of your newspaper and contacting your local MP are two ways you can get involved in advocacy.
Write a letter to the editor
Letters to the editor are a great way of focusing attention on an issue.
You can usually find the email and postal address for letters to the editor of your local or metropolitan newspaper on their website. Contacts for the major daily newspapers are listed below.
Some tips when you are writing your letter:
- Tell them who you are and why you care about mental health and how it effects your family. A human angle will make the letter more powerful
- Include some specific statistics or refer to an issue that’s currently in the news
- Tell them about Wellways. Include the fact that we are trying to get as many people as possible to sign up to advocate for systemic change. This will help to raise the profile of mental health issues and reduce stigma in Australia.
- Keep it short. Often newspapers don’t leave much space for letters, so it’s best to keep yours to no more than 200 words
- Include your contact details. Most newspapers require your name, email address, postal address and daytime phone number. This is so they can verify who the letter is from, this information will not be published
- Let us know that you’ve sent it. It helps us greatly if we know how many people have written to their local newspaper.
If your letter gets published, we’d love to see a copy of that as well!
Here are contact details for the letters pages of some of our major daily newspapers:
|Sydney||The Sydney Morning Herald
The Daily Telegraph
The Herald Sun
|Brisbane||The Courier Mail|
|Canberra||The Canberra Times|
Contact your local Member of Parliament
If we want our campaigns to be successful, we need to get the Government to listen. Writing to your MP might sound daunting, but remember they are your representative so they will be keen to hear about the issues that affect you.
Write a letter or email to your local MP and tell them why you believe they need to do more for people living with mental health issues, as well as their families, friends and carers.
- tell them who you are and why you care about mental health
- outline our concerns and how specific issues effect your family or community
- ask your MP to raise your concerns with the minister responsible for the mental health and/or disability services
To find the name of your federal or state electorate visit:
|Federal||Australian Electoral Commission|
|Australian Capital Territory||ACT Electoral Commission|
|New South Wales||NSW Electoral Commission|
|Victoria||Victorian Electoral Commission|
|Tasmania||Tasmanian Electoral Commission|
Then, visit the government website for your state or territory to locate your MP and their contact details:
|Federal||Parliament of Australia|
|Australian Capital Territory||ACT Legislative Assembly|
|New South Wales||Parliament of NSW|
|Victoria||Parliament of Victoria|
|Tasmania||Parliament of Tasmania|
You can then choose to email or send a letter by post. We would like to keep track of how many MPs have been contacted so please let us know if you send an email or a letter. We would also love to hear from you if you get a response from them.