Director of Advocacy and Public Policy -

May 10, 2024
Toronto, Ontario

Embark on a transformative journey with, where you will play a pivotal role in reshaping youth mental health across Canada. Our mission is to empower young individuals with community, knowledge, and tools to champion mental well-being. We envision a world where youth experience mental well-being, not distress. We stand poised and empowered for this crucial task, fortified by dedicated donors, a robust financial reserve, visionary leadership, and a high-performing team eager to drive change. Focused on addressing the prevalent issue of mental health distress among youth, our approach centres on upstream prevention of mental distress and the promotion of mental well-being.

Ready to play a vital role in supporting the team that shapes the future of youth mental health in Canada? Join us in ensuring our dedicated staff is well-supported, enabling them to deliver on our mission with excellence for the benefit of the youth we serve!

Position: Director of Advocacy and Public Policy

Reporting to: President and CEO

About You:

  • With 3-5 years of direct experience in public affairs or government, you excel in crafting key messages, devising effective strategies, and nurturing valuable relationships.
  • You possess a comprehensive understanding of government processes, policies, and funding mechanisms, enabling you to navigate complexities with ease.
  • Your strategic acumen, along with exceptional interpersonal and negotiation skills, equips you to thrive in a dynamic, challenging environment.
  • Your strong grasp of fundraising and communication needs ensures the success of advocacy efforts, driving impactful change.
  • Your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, combined with experience in a non-profit environment, promises to bring immense value to our team.
  • Familiarity with youth mental health advocacy is considered an asset.

Your Impact:

The Director of Advocacy and Public Policy will be dedicated to ensuring that youth perspectives are meaningfully represented in’s advocacy approaches and interactions with the government. Focused on addressing the prevalent issue of mental health distress among youth, our approach centres on upstream prevention of mental distress and the promotion of mental well-being.

Reporting to the President and CEO, the Director of Advocacy and Public Policy will play a pivotal role in advancing our mission by advocating for systemic change in the area of youth mental health. This will be done by working effectively with all levels of government at both the bureaucratic and political level, engaging with like-minded organizations, and interacting effectively with young people.  They will also build and implement effective advocacy plans that result in systemic change and enable the youth voice to be reflected in government decision-making.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Build and implement an effective government relations strategy with a national focus that engages both political and bureaucratic levels of government to build opportunities for policy wins and funding possibilities.  
  • Review knowledge, best practices and evidence across jurisdictions around policy interventions in the prevention and health promotion area of mental health. 
  • Understand the youth mental health landscape in Canada, especially as it relates to the prevention of mental distress, and develop a clear plan related to potential opportunities, solutions and levers at the government level that could respond to gaps.
  • Build briefs, messaging, plans and an advocacy and policy agenda for the organization. 
  • Work effectively to build understanding across on advocacy positions and approaches. 
  • Map out milestones and opportunities for visible action on the advocacy agenda for the organization and develop plans to meet these opportunities.  E.g. federal election.
  • Collaborate with the Youth Engagement Team to formulate effective processes and strategies to actively engage youth in advocacy initiatives, including identifying pertinent issues, devising solutions, and providing comprehensive training and coaching.
  • Create relationships with like-minded organizations and create opportunities for collaboration on advocacy initiatives. 
  • Represent on coalitions and committees to further our policy agenda.
  • Work with the Marketing and Communications Team to develop and implement a communications plan that supports’s advocacy agenda, including the development of advocacy campaigns, key messaging, and policy assets.
  • Act as a key media spokesperson for the organization. 

Desired skills, competencies

  • A deep understanding of government processes, cycles, levers, and milestones as it relates to policy and funding.
  • 3-5 years of experience in public affairs or government with direct responsibility for crafting key messages, developing effective strategies, and cultivating meaningful relationships.
  • Strategic thinking and a proactive approach with effective prioritization and follow-through in a complex environment.
  • Strong understanding of the fundraising and communication needs associated with effective advocacy.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relational skills, with experience in a non-profit setting.
  • Strong network of resources in the government and public affairs area and demonstrated ability to negotiate diplomatically.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with experience applying anti-oppressive practices.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills, including persuasive writing.
  • Proactive self-starter with a strong ability to take initiative.
  • Excellent organization, planning, and time management skills with attention to detail.
  • Familiarity with youth mental health advocacy issues would be an asset.
  • Proficiency in French is an asset.

What’s in it for you?

  • A full-time, permanent position ($90,000 - $110,000 per annum)
  • A competitive, comprehensive benefits package
  • Working for an organization that supports personal and professional development and that will invest in your growth
  • A flexible, trust-based culture: we offer uncapped sick days and flex hours
  • A fun, exciting environment filled with an amazing group of driven, talented people
  • In addition to vacation allowances, we offer a winter and summer office closure so that we can all recharge simultaneously
  • A chance to contribute to the growth of an aspirational, well-funded organization and make a significant impact on the mental health and well-being of young people across Canada

How to apply:

If you’re the person we’re looking for, apply with your cover letter and resume (PDF format preferred). We will be accepting applications on an ongoing basis, but we will consider them as they come in, so don’t delay! The successful candidate must be able to start by May 2024. 

While the work involves supporting a network of youth in all provinces and territories, headquarters is located in downtown Toronto. This position is a hybrid/remote position. 

At, we strongly believe that having a diverse team with various skills and abilities will inspire creativity and drive innovation in our organization. We are committed to building a team representative of different backgrounds and perspectives, and we encourage applications from all candidates who represent the full diversity of communities across Canada.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that equity-deserving communities, including women, people of colour, people from the LGBTQ2S+ communities, and people with diverse abilities are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every qualification. At, we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, authentic, and accountable workplace, so if you’re excited about this role, but your experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply as you may be the ideal candidate we are looking for.

Reasonable accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the hiring process. Accommodation requests can be made by contacting

Thanks for applying!

This job is from CharityVillage
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