Report on the CGPA Social Action Committee


By : Terry Simonik (Chair)

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the new Social Action Committee of CGPA and to invite you to become more involved in the coming year.
The social action committee was established in the spring of 2001 when it became apparent that a need had arisen in our organization for a committee to examine and define the role of group psychotherapy and group psychotherapists within the rapidly evolving Canadian health care system. It was felt that we needed to develop a strong position and voice within this system and that we needed to be prepared to lobby to protect existing group programs and to promote the importance of integrating group work into all aspects of health care.

Our new committee met at the Annual Conference in Winnipeg and formulated a preliminary plan for our work together. We will begin by making contact with the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada - a commission led by Former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow This commission has the mandate of developing recommendations for the federal government on "the long term sustainability of a high quality , universally accessible publicly funded health cares system for all Canadians." The Commission is planning to meet with stakeholders and health care providers and organizations across the country in an effort to establish recommendations for change. We want the opportunity to meet with the Commission and will submit a formal letter to them by the end of December to make that request.

We will also plan to attend public meetings which will begin to occur across the country early in the new year. Our goal in attending would be to put forth a unified message about the value and importance of group therapy within our health care system and to highlight the importance of skilled, well trained group psychotherapists as an essential element within this system.

I will keep you informed about future developments and dates and time of meetings. I would ask you to think about becoming involved by joining our committee or attending a public meeting in your area to speak up about the benefits of group.

As group therapists we know the incredible value of groups within the system as it exists now and the potential to utilize them even more effectively in future. It is time that we let others in the position to make changes know too.

If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me at tsimonik@rogers.com. We look forward to having you as part of our committee.

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