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Ambassadors for Mental Wellness

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Our patient advocacy group, Ambassadors for Mental Wellness, aims to give you a voice during the testing and approval process for new treatments and therapies. Check back periodically to stay informed on any upcoming Patient Evidence Submissions we are working on.

Our Mission

Ambassadors for Mental Wellness has three (3) mandates:

  1. Advocating for open access and availability of treatments for mentally ill people
  2. Breaking down stigma through the global initiative to change the name of Schizophrenia
  3. Advocating for anti- poverty issues

With the progression of research, as in the field of Central Nervous System (CNS) treatment, access and availability of new treatments is vital. It is not until you are able to get symptoms under control that you may begin addressing the other areas in your life.

Changing the name of schizophrenia is a global issue as we now know that the meaning behind the word schizophrenia, or “split mind disease”, is not an accurate depiction. This focus will allow our community to connect with other mental illness stigma programs around the globe.

Poverty through mental illness is a result of a lack of opportunities and education. Advocating for anti-poverty issues is absolutely essential in providing full-circle recovery support.

Why advocate on the behalf of patients and caregivers?

In an effort to strengthen accountability and provide a more complete understanding, obtaining patient input is essential in the approval process for new treatments. Patient representatives provide meaningful public input into the overall drug and treatment-funding recommendation process.  One of the challenges lies in representing the diverse needs of all patients, particularly for diseases with which approval board members are not familiar. Including patient evidence in this consideration process is essential.

Each government agency has an established formal process for submitting evidence for new drugs and other treatments undergoing funding review.  Similar to other agencies around the world, the Ontario Public Drug Program accepts submissions of patient evidence from approved advocacy groups, of which we are a member. The advocacy groups are invited to provide patient evidence on any of the drugs listed on their drug review schedule. Only submissions from advocacy groups are accepted to ensure that perspectives from many patients and caregivers are captured collectively.

Active Studies:

As part of our outreach we will occasionally be asking for your participation in our studies.  The purpose of these studies is to gather vital information from patients and caregivers dealing with mental illnesses.  Some studies will have a broad scope, while others will be targeted to a specific purpose.  Please check back here often to lend your voice to our advocacy movement!

Completed Studies:

We would like to sincerely thank all of those who have participated in our recently completed studies!  Here are some details of recently completed studies we could not have done without your support:

In May, 2015 we completed a study for patients or caregivers regarding their experiences with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The purpose of this initiative was to advocate for greater access to medication and treatment for MDD patients.

In May, 2015 we completed a study asking participants a series of questions regarding their existing treatment program.  We wanted to know how well it was working for them, what any gaps in their care were, what the difficulty was in maintaining their prescribed level of treatment, and their desire for a long-acting solution in the case of medication treatment.

Read the full submission