Local Activities

Best Start invites communities across Ontario to take part in the provincial campaign. Activities could include ensuring local midwives, community health centres and other health care providers know about and have access to helpful resources. Community groups can order additional information and resource packages (like those being sent to health care providers) from Best Start for other local child and family service organizations, such as Ontario Early Years Centres, mental health counselors, and family home visitors.

You could do something as simple as putting up posters or as complex as designing and implementing a complete local communication campaign. Every initiative makes a difference. To facilitate local activities that will complement the provincial campaign, Best Start is providing print and electronic resources, as well as information and advice.

The following resources have been used in past Best Start campaigns to assist people in planning local activities.

Health Communications Resources
Building Partnerships with Physicians
How to Build Partnerships with Youth
How to Build Partnerships with Workplaces
How to Work with Coalitions

Here are some ideas for communities as they plan local activities. Some of these ideas are simple and inexpensive to implement; others require more development and, often resources. Remember, campaign resources can be ordered free of charge until April 30, 2007.

Get Media Attention:

Collect stories from mothers and families who have lived through PPMD. Seek their permission to share stories with local TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. Include smaller, ethno-cultural-specific papers. Remember Best Start can supplement these with camera-ready media releases and articles.

Raise Awareness:

Check in with your local public library and offer posters and brochures.
You can also do a 'Wildcard' library campaign.
Ask local utilities if they'd consider including a flyer in each mailing during the month of March.
Ask local public-sector employers to include a flyer in their pay-cheque/stub mailings during the month of March. Or ask to post a short notice in their news-letter
Connect with the local Ontario Early Years Centre and offer posters and brochures.
Put up a display at the local college, university or trade school. Don't forget high schools - research says that the rate of PPMD in adolescents is as high as 26% (Troutman & Cutrona, 1990).

Connect with other Health-related Groups:

Ask your local community health centre, family doctor's office, midwifery clinics, walk-in clinics if they have received the Best Start health care provider package - if not, offer to get them a package or offer extra resources such as brochures or magnets.
Contact your local hospital's maternity unit and offer to supply fridge magnets to all new moms during the month of March.
Distribute information (brochure and magnets) through the hospital's pre-registration clinic.
Contact pharmacies and offer to put up posters, close to pre-natal vitamins or baby supply sections. Offer brochures for display at prescription pick-up counters.
Host a PPMD Workshop for local health care providers, or offer to speak at physicians' rounds or nurses' in-services. [Health care provider workshops]
March is Nutrition Month - team up with nutritionists for joint activities, combined displays, etc.

More Information

Wildcards library campaign:
Wild Cards is a company which prints and distributes library bookmarks throughout Canadian public libraries. Clients, such as Canadian Health Network, use the front of the library bookmark for their dynamically printed awareness message. The back of the bookmark is then used by the various library regions to inform patrons about due dates or library websites.

As Wild Cards is the only dual-purpose bookmark used in Canada's public libraries you will have exclusive access to this audience. The program works as a revenue builder for public libraries. Each public library agrees to distribute a pre-determined amount of bookmarks in set amounts per month summarized on the website which details network distribution numbers.

Their newly developed website ( includes information on the library systems involved in the program, bookmark requirements and specifications, examples of campaigns and some clients that have used the program in the past.

The Best Start Resource centre will make a bookmark available on the web that can be used for a library campaign. The cost of the campaign depends on the number of bookmarks to be distributed and includes the printing of the bookmarks. Library use has increased over the past few years and we can expect to reach some of our targeted audience. For more information on the Wildcards program contact Hiltrud Dawson.

Health care provider packages:

Who will receive a package?
1. Family doctors that are members of the Ontario College of Family Physicians
2. All midwives through the Association of Ontario Midwives
3. Nurse Practitioners that are members of the RNAO
4. Obstetricians that are members of the SOGC

What will be included in the package? (samples coming soon)
A double sided desk reference
A pad of tear-off sheets that can be given to clients

Contact your local health care providers and offer to review the contents of the package with them. If they did not receive a copy (not all are members of the respective organizations), extra HCP packages can be ordered from the Best Start Resource Centre. Order packages for those health care providers who did not receive a package and deliver to them personally.

Health care provider workshops or in-services:

Book a 2 -3 hour workshop for physicians, midwives and nurses. This will involve lots of planning and additional cost. If possible use local experts or call us for ideas on speakers or content.

If a workshop is too ambitious, book a session that is attended by your local family physicians or ask your local hospital if you can book an in-service for the maternal newborn nurses. You can also do an in-service with your local midwives, public health nurses or other interested community groups.

Have campaign materials for all participants. Make sure you have a list of local resources or resources that can be accessed by local women. Have a short power-point presentation ready geared to your audience.

PPMD picnic:

March is not a picnic month, so this will need to be an indoor activity. If you have a PPMD support group in your area this is a starting point and you can invite present and past members of the group to the picnic. You can host it in your local mall's food court or a similar venue. Make sure you advertise well and invite the media too. This is a good media opportunity that will produce local stories. Many mothers who have recovered from PPMD love to tell there story in order to help other mothers.

Prepare little goody bags for all who attend. They could include a treat for mom (get donations from local vendors) and baby, a brochure and a magnet.

Nutrition team up:

Your local dietitians and nutritionists may be planning a host of activities for March. Ask if you can team-up with them. Here are some options of what you can do
Include PPMD brochures on their display
Share their display space and cost and display PPMD posters and hand out brochures and magnets
If they have more specific activities in mind get together with them and add PPMD into the plans.



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