Meeting with a local Congressional Representative’s office is a wonderful educational and networking opportunity. The basic takeaways should be:
1. Educate the Congressional Representative and/or office staff about what their district is doing to educate and support local mom’s around Postpartum Depression.
2. Create a solid relationship with the Representative’s office.
Prepare a brief background on
- Who your organization is
- How long your organization has been in place
- What communities you serve
- Where you serve the community [i.e. library play group, in home therapy, community health center, etc.]
- Members and supporters of your organization [i.e. local legislators, municipal governments, places of worship, hospitals, associations, meet-up groups, individuals, etc.]
- Have business cards and literature ready to distribute about your business, organization, etc. as it relates to Moms, families and Postpartum education and support.
Prepare to share your own personal story, as you see fit.
- Your experience with PPD within your district/community
- What community services were available
- What community services were NOT available
- What services you wish were available
- Arrive 5 minutes early.
- Have your business cards, meeting notes, documents, etc. ready and organized (if applicable)
- Remind the Congressional Representative and/or staff member a quick brief of why you requested to meet, if they don't lead with the topic of maternal mental health/PPD during your introduction.
- Share background on you/your organization and the impact it's made around maternal mental health/PPD awareness, education, etc.
- Focus story lines and conversations on local community interactions and establishments, anecdotes, etc. to help inform the office about how this issue has been and impacting their constituents.
- Allow time for the Representative or staff person to ask questions.
- Individuals and organizations can express their support for H.R. 3235/S. 2311, "Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act of 2015" in their meeting.
POST MEETING FOLLOWUP:
- Send a handwritten, "Thank you" note to the person you/your organization met with.
- Individuals and organizations can express their support for H.R.3235/S.2311, "Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act of 2015" in their meeting, again.
- Invite a staffer to your organizations next meeting, event, Twitter chat, etc. (if appropriate and applicable)
- Set a time in the calendar 3 - 6 months to have a follow up meeting with your Congressional Representative office, to check in and foster the newly formed, or already established, relationship.