I have not had the privilege of meeting this extraordinary man, but I can say with absolute certainty that the work that Jeff is doing is not only changing the way that Canadians think about, act towards, and treat mental health, but the entire world as well. Jeff is the President of the amazing National charity, Partners For Mental Health. I am a very proud volunteer with PFMH for over two years now, and I can tell you that the work that they are doing is incredible. The team are always there to offer support, answer questions, and help in any way they can. I can’t say enough about what an amazing experience it has been to be part of the PFMH family, and I would encourage all Canadians looking for a way to get involved, to check them out. You won’t be sorry that you did. The entire board, sponsors, PFMH team, and volunteers are all Mental Health Warriors, and I bow to you all in gratitude and thanks. Please welcome Jeff Moat to The Lithium Chronicles.
Why I Decided To Step Off the Sidelines and Into the Game to Drive Change
By Jeff Moat
My story isn’t a dramatic one, but I believe it demonstrates a truth that fuels my work: that everyday Canadians can and do drive much-needed change around important issues.
There are times in life where you are faced with a choice to either continue to sit on the sidelines, or to stand up and refuse to accept the status quo and be counted on to move things forward. When I was approached by the Honourable Michael Kirby to join Partners for Mental Health, it was one of those times.
We’ve all heard the statistic that mental illness affects 1 in 5 Canadians, but the reality is that mental health is an issue that has an impact on everyone – the other four people in that statistic. It certainly has a deep impact on those who support a child, loved one or friend with a mental health concern. But even beyond that, it is so important to recognize that we all have mental health and that it is a part of our overall well-being, which means we all have a personal connection to this issue.
I have always passionately believed in this fact, along with the idea that by galvanizing a community of supportive Canadians, we can transform our collective efforts into a powerful social movement that will not only drive positive change in the mental health system, but also create broader social change.
In my former life as a marketing executive, I really came to see the impact of this type of large, active social movement on causes such as cancer, civil rights and AIDS, with people coming together to not only raise awareness and reduce stigma, but also raise funds, influence policy in support of improved support and funding, and ultimately effect real and lasting change. I believe we can do the same with the mental health cause.
That’s why I was so thrilled to be presented in 2011 with the opportunity and challenge of heading up a brand-new organization focused on this work of mobilizing and equipping Canadians to lead this transformation.
And indeed, we’re already starting to see exciting things happen due to Canadians stepping up to take action in support of mental health. Through our Right By You child and youth campaign, more than 27,000 petitions were signed in support of the creation of a National Youth Suicide Prevention Fund, and Canadians sent over 13,000 letters to Members of Parliament, the Finance Minister and the Health Minister to support our campaign and the Fund. In this year’s budget, the Government of Canada explicitly mentioned suicide prevention in this year’s budget announcement of the renewal of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) for an additional 10-year mandate, and also included mention of Partners for Mental Health as a stakeholder that will be consulted by the Minister of Health in defining the MHCC’s mandate.
As well, since 2013 more than 260 organizations of every size and from every industry sector have shown their commitment to workplace mental health and to employee well-being by participating in our Not Myself Today initiative, which provides employers with tools and resources to build more mentally healthy work environments. And it’s clear that mental health is starting to come out of the shadows, with more people talking about it and recognizing that this is an important issue that requires our attention, although there is still a lot of work to be done.
Jeffrey B. Moat, President, Partners for Mental Health
Jeff has over 20 years of marketing experience in the areas of advertising, marketing, and social media.
Prior to joining Partners for Mental Health, Jeff was the National Director of Sales and Marketing for Canadian Blood Services where he oversaw all national marketing programs, advertising campaigns, donor lifecycle management and brand building activities for the organization.
Before joining Canadian Blood Services, Jeff was the Director of Marketing at Bell Canada, overseeing all advertising directed at the SME market. Prior to joining Bell, Jeff held the position of Vice President of Marketing for Alterna Bank where he directed all strategic marketing activities in support of the bank’s brand building, CRM, and product growth objectives.
Jeff also held various positions, including AVP Marketing for Bank One International where he oversaw the development and execution of all strategic marketing acquisition plans. He also served as AVP Marketing at Citibank Canada. In that capacity, he managed the marketing acquisition planning function, including the development of numerous portfolio programs. He began his career as marketing executive for Petro Canada, managing all marketing activities for the company’s private label credit card.
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University.