Purpose of The Award

The Margaret Trudeau Mental Health Advocacy Award recognizes the dedicated leadership efforts of those who have committed their lives to improving the dialogue around mental health issues efficiently with balance, compassion, and empathy. The award nominee will have had first-hand experience with mental illness, and now uses that experience to advocate for better mental health care and less stigma.


The nominee should have:

  • A history that is challenging and inspiring, driven by a motivation born out of first-hand experience
  • Overcame societal biases and stigmas on mental illness
  • Changed the way people think about mental health issues
  • Advocated for better access to mental health care and services
  • Given hope to others challenged with mental health concerns
  • Proven by example that one person can make a difference

Guiding Principles

The nominee must support the general framework of the following principles:

  1. Mental illness and mental health issues considered within the overall framework of the determinants of health, and the necessary linkages among mental, neurological and physiological health must be recognized
  2. The impact of mental illness and mental health issues is serious, costly and a burden to the well-being of all Canadians. The unnecessary suffering, stigma and early mortality (especially from suicide), along with the toll on the economy and social services (such as health, education and criminal justice systems) require immediate, concerted attention. Health planners and all levels of the government must address mental health issues at a level commensurate with the nature of this burden
  3. Mental health promotion and the treatment of mental illnesses must be timely, continuous, interdisciplinary, culturally appropriate, and integrated across the continuum of care and the full life cycle (i.e., physical and mental health; social supports and tertiary care to home and community throughout a person’s life)

Selection Process

  • The selection committee is established and appointed by the Board of Directors
  • The selection committee evaluates nominees, based on the above criteria, and select a short list of candidates
  • The selection committee presents them to the board to vote on to select the top candidate
  • This year’s Award will be presented at the 6th Mad About Margaret’s gala on
    October 26, 2017 in Toronto

Award Presentation

  • The Presenter of the Award may include Margaret Trudeau, a representative from  ‘The Mighty Oak’ sponsorship-level, prominent politicians or dignitaries
  • The Host at the gala will provide narrative and introduce presenters
  • The Award recipient will be announced at the gala, presented with the award and shall deliver a three to five-minute acceptance speech
  • The Award itself will be a commemorative statuette and an art piece, along with a certificate

Nomination Letter

A nominator must describe in 500 words or less the characteristics of the nominee as pertains to the Award criteria and provides details on how she/he has demonstrated attribute and qualities that align with the values and principles that which Margaret Trudeau Mental Health Advocacy Award was created.

We encourage any testimonial letters from other individuals or organizations
who support the nomination as an appendage.

Consider the answers to the following questions when composing your nomination letter:

  1. Is the nominee an agent of change? In what ways has the nominee advocated
    for, and succeeded in producing significant, transformative changes to
    mental health issues?
  2. How has the nominee demonstrated personal commitment and leadership to
    address concerns about mental health?
  3. How has the nominee been influential in communicating and sharing knowledge with others, within the mental health field, and in the larger community?

Qualifying Questions

  1. What were the nominee’s mental health challenges and their journey toward recovery?
  2. Please describe the nominee’s involvement with peers and mental health organizations (or other), and the duration of participation in these efforts?
  3. What was the nominee’s impact on the mental health community and the society
    as a whole?

How to Submit Your Nomination

A Nominator cannot be a spouse, a family member, or anyone perceived of having conflicts of interest with the Nominee.

It is important to note that we do not select the Margaret Trudeau Mental Health
Advocacy Award recipient by write-in campaigns or the volume of nominations an
individual receives. A single nomination will place the person’s name in consideration for the Award.

Please submit your nomination between March 8th and September 5th, 2017. We will not consider submissions received after September 5th; they will instead be rolled over for consideration in 2018.

You may submit electronically to info@margarets.ca with the subject line:
MT Mental Health Advocacy Award: <Name of the Nominee>

Or by regular mail to:
The Advocacy Award Committee
301 Broadview Avenue
Toronto, ON M4M 2G8

We encourage any testimonial letters from other individuals or organizations
who support the nomination as an appendage.

The online web form for presenting a submission will be available no later than April 3, 2017, on Margaret’s website.