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National Government Relations Advisor

We are not accepting new applications at this time and are evaluating the candidates currently.

Full Time

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is seeking a change-maker who takes advocacy to heart and has a passion for creating a Canada where everyone has access to mental healthcare. Reporting to the National Director, Public Policy, the National Government Relations Advisor would join the National team as a staff or a consultant working full time or part-time commensurate with experience and credentials, to drive systems change in mental health at the federal level.

As CMHA National’s eyes and ears on Parliament Hill, you will co-develop and implement advocacy strategies, leverage creative government relations and other tactics, maintain relationships with key federal decision-makers, support the development of policy positions and recommendations, and engage in direct advocacy with federal decision-makers towards achieving universal mental healthcare.

About CMHA: Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. Through a presence in more than 330 communities across every province and one territory, CMHA provides advocacy and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive. Our vision is a Canada where mental health is a human right. CMHA has been chosen as one of Canada’s best places to work by Forbes magazine in 2021 and 2022.

Location: This position can be based out of the CMHA National office in Toronto, or remotely in the Ottawa area. To encourage collaboration and explore new ways of working, CMHA National supports a hybrid work model of 2 days in the office and 3 days working from home. However, until further notice, staff are working from home according to public health guidelines and management’s decision.

Key responsibilities:

  1. Co-develop and implement advocacy strategies aimed at establishing universal mental healthcare:
    • Employ government relations, communications, public engagement, and other diverse tactics towards advancing CMHA advocacy goals.
    • Identify target audiences to engage towards influencing federal political decision-making.
    • Monitor, evaluate and report on progress towards achieving advocacy strategies.
    • Conduct risk analysis of advocacy strategies, ensuring CMHA advocacy initiatives are non-partisan.
  2. Monitor and identify opportunities to advance CMHA public policy priorities in key federal government spaces:
    • Analyze federal laws, policies, and programs, identifying opportunities to advance CMHA advocacy priorities and recommendations.
    • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of trends in the health care system, emerging research, global best practices, etc. on full range of mental health and substance use issues and the social determinants of health and identify advocacy strategies and clearly articulated recommendations in response to this information.
    • Proactively identify opportunities for CMHA to engage in parliamentary procedures, legislative and regulatory processes, departmental initiatives, and other spaces that have a direct influence on federal decision-making.
    • Monitor federal decision-making spaces, providing updates to the CMHA federation on opportunities to advance CMHA priorities.
    • Monitor for and develop strategies in response to shifts in the political landscape, including elections.
  3. Engage in and/or facilitate direct engagement with CMHA and federal decision-makers:
    • Establish and maintain relationships with key federal government stakeholders.
    • Maintain up-to-date database of key federal elected and unelected decision-makers, their roles and contact information.
    • Organize parliamentary events, briefings, roundtables, etc. and maintain CMHA National’s lobbying registry.
    • In collaboration with CMHA staff, communicate CMHA advocacy priorities and recommendations to key government stakeholders.
    • Support the engagement of CMHA federation staff with government officials.
    • Raise the awareness of and build the capacity of federal decision-makers to actively support community mental health, CMHA priorities and recommendations.
    • Provide support to CMHA National in government consultations and meetings with government officials.
  4. Develop advocacy-related materials:
    • Prepare briefs, reports, letters, presentations, and submissions for government audiences, communicating CMHA priorities, with specific recommendations and requests.
    • Prepare materials for and support CMHA’s participation in government consultations.
    • Produce written policy analysis, identify policy options, and develop recommendations for the federal government.
    • Identify opportunities for knowledge translations of CMHA advocacy resources, and other relevant resources, with government audiences.
  5. Strengthen relationships and engagement with national stakeholders:
    • Identify opportunities for collaborative national advocacy to advance universal mental healthcare with diverse stakeholders.
    • Contribute government relations expertise to existing national advocacy coalitions.

You should have:

Your mindset and key skills should include:

Compensation: $85,000-$95,000 per year, either full-time or part-time commensurate with level of education, credentials, and experience along with benefits, a flexible work environment and a workplace culture committed to personal wellbeing and psychological safety.

Working conditions:

Are you a fit?

If you are interested in applying for the role, please submit a PDF copy of your resume along with a cover letter to [email protected] by February 25, 2022. We thank you for your interest and please note that only those identified for an interview will be contacted.

To learn more about CMHA, visit:

CMHA is committed to our workforce reflecting the diversity of the communities within which we work. As such, we explicitly encourage applications from persons with disabilities, members of Black, Indigenous and racialized communities, people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and others who may contribute to the diversity of our staff. We invite you to self-identify in your cover letter. Please let us know if you require accommodations throughout the application process.