Utah Association of school psychologists

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Sample Scripts for Writing to Legislators for School Psychologists

27 Feb 2019 11:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

When contacting legislators, it can be hard getting started with what you want to say. Today we're providing school psychologists with some outlines for you to use with your own advocacy work. Remember, you don't have to be eloquent. Be sincere and consistent in contacting your legislators. There aren't many of us in Utah, so we need to be sure and speak up so that we can appropriately meet the needs of students.

Ok, so here's an outline you can use to write up something for your representative or senator:


Dear [Senator, Representative] [INSERT LEGISLATOR’S LAST NAME],

As a constituent and a school psychologist, [INSERT PRIMARY ASK HERE].

[EXPLAIN YOUR EXPERIENCE, REASONING, OR RESEARCH BEHIND THE PRIMARY ASK, USE BULLET POINTS IF NECESSARY]

[IF POSSIBLE, INCLUDE A STORY ABOUT THE LEGISLATOR’S DISTRICT TO HELP THEM UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT YOU’RE ASKING]

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or if you see any way for school psychologists like myself to further support legislation that [SUPPORTS THE PRIMARY ASK].

Thank you for your service to our state and your consideration of this issue.

Sincerely,

[INSERT YOUR NAME AND TITLE]

[INSERT YOUR FULL ADDRESS]

[INSERT EMAIL AND/OR PHONE NUMBER]


As an example, here's what you might write if you just wanted to contact your legislators and ask for their support for increasing access of students to school-based mental health providers like school psychologists:


Dear [Senator, Representative] [INSERT LEGISLATOR’S LAST NAME],

As a constituent and a school psychologist, I respectfully request that you support efforts to increase access to school-based mental health providers like school psychologists. Preventing and addressing student mental health issues is critical to student success. We have school-based mental health professionals currently employed to address these issues, but there are far too few of us throughout the state.

In the state of Utah, we have between 2,500 to 3,000 students for every school psychologist. The National Association of School Psychologists recommends that no more than a ratio of 1 school psychologist to 700 students is needed to be able to provide comprehensive supports that include prevention and intervention of mental health issues, school crises, youth suicide, academic difficulty and more.

[IF POSSIBLE, INCLUDE A STORY ABOUT THE LEGISLATOR’S DISTRICT TO HELP THEM UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT YOU’RE ASKING]

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or if you see any way for school psychologists like myself to further support legislation that increases access to school-based mental health providers.

Thank you for your service to our state and your consideration of this issue.

Sincerely,

[INSERT YOUR NAME AND TITLE]

[INSERT YOUR FULL ADDRESS]

[INSERT EMAIL AND/OR PHONE NUMBER]



As always, if you have any questions about contacting legislators or how you can be more involved in advocating for students and school psychologists, contact the board!

If you need to know who represents you in congress at the sate level, go to https://le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp

If you need to know who represents you in congress at the federal level, check out https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members

You can also check out NASP's Advocacy Center that makes it very easy to contact your federal legislators on a variety of current topics.


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