Photo by Sian Richards

On May 3rd, let's keep talking...



The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is very pleased to announce Let’s Keep Talking with Lieutenant-General, the Honourable Roméo Dallaire (Ret'd) on May 3rd at the Spatz Theatre in Halifax.

General Dallaire will headline this year’s event as the keynote speaker, thanks to Bell Aliant, speaking to the audience about his battle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and his advocacy of the issue on behalf of other veterans struggling with PTSD.

Presented by NorthWest Healthcare Properties, the 4th annual event takes place during Mental Health Week and is designed to educate, engage, and entertain. The event will feature the stories and talents of Nova Scotians living well with mental illness, including photography by Nigel Beck, live art and much more.

The Let's Keep Talking Awards, which recognize outstanding individuals living with mental illness as well as those who provide care and support within the mental health community, will be handed out at the event as well.

Doors open at 5:30pm, event begins at 6:00pm. Recommended for ages 12+.

This is a FREE event, but advance tickets are required - get yours today! Please remember to print and bring your ticket(s) with you.

Now is the time to take up the cause of the advancement of human rights for all and the moment is yours to grasp.
— Lieutenant-General, the Honourable Roméo Dallaire (Ret'd)



The Let’s Keep Talking Awards honour outstanding Nova Scotians living with mental illness or addiction and those who work to provide support in the mental health community.

Award recipients are selected through a province-wide nomination process. A selection committee of past award recipients, health care professionals, community stakeholders, and Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia representatives will review nominations and determine the annual recipients.

We are pleased to announce this year's Let’s Keep Talking Awards winners in five categories:


Outstanding Individual: Stephanie Reidy

Stephanie is a Clinical Research Coordinator, wife, mother, mental health advocate, blogger and community volunteer. After wearing what she refers to as a mask for years, she now speaks openly about her struggles with Major Depressive Disorder and attempted suicide. As an annual speaker for medical students at Dalhousie University and a regular presenter at HRM high schools, she strives to eradicate stigma by sharing her own personal story of hope and recovery.

“Without fail, after every presentation, a student discloses they are struggling personally or a family member is struggling. Stephanie now schedules extra time after every presentation for this eventuality. Witnessing how she connects with students she has just met and how she shares so much of herself is inspiring.” ~ Heather Hughes-Leck, Dartmouth High School Teacher

Outstanding Youth: Amanda Higgins

Amanda is a grade 12 honours student and varsity athlete at Halifax West High School. The 17-year-old student government executive recently spearheaded the very first Mental Health Awareness Conference at her school. Battling her own anxiety and depression, Amanda strives to let other young people know they are not struggling alone.

“I am truly thankful for Amanda because without her there is no saying where I would be today.” ~ Abby Haikings, Amanda’s classmate & friend

Outstanding Senior: Jim Malone

Jim facilitates the “Upstairs Kitchen Club” – a wellness and recovery peer support group for people living with depression and anxiety. The 62-year-old also shares his time and talents with the Clinical Pathways Project, the Healthy Minds Cooperative, Self-Help Connection and the Nova Scotia Bipolar Peer Support Alliance. Jim exemplifies the power of self-care by using healthy life practices to thrive while living with clinical depression and anxiety.

“Jim is a hope generator and a lighthouse in our self-help community.” ~Mickie Bowe, Self-Help Connection

Outstanding Healthcare Provider: Nicole Robinson

Nicole is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst who works with the Dual Diagnosis Program through COAST and Emerald Hall at the Nova Scotia Hospital. As an advocate for the rights of individuals living with an intellectual challenge and mental illness, she inspires others through her words and actions. Nicole has played a crucial role in helping to transform health services and improve care practices for people living with Dual Diagnosis within the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

“Nicole is an exceptional healthcare provider who is a champion of best practice in providing care for individuals living with the double stigma of intellectual disability and a mental illness.” ~ Dr. Mutiat Sulyman, Dual Diagnosis Program

Outstanding Caregiver: Sheila Morrison

Sheila is an author, retired teacher and physiotherapist, wife and mother to three. Her 43-year-old daughter lives with severe mental illness related to a syndrome known as 22q. For the past decade, Sheila has been her daughter’s full-time caregiver. Sheila was told her daughter should be institutionalized, but she chose to provide a loving and non-judgmental environment instead. Today, her daughter cooks and bakes on her own, enjoys creative arts, helping others and spending time outdoors.

“Despite being told to institutionalize her daughter many years ago, Sheila had the courage to leave her job to care for her daughter. Sheila is tenacious, kind, non-judgmental and unconditional in her support.” ~ Margaret Murray, CMHA Halifax-Dartmouth




Thank you to the sponsors, partners and supporters who make this event possible. And, to you: Nova Scotians who are eager to keep talking about mental illness to impact change in our province.


After the success of its Let’s Keep Talking for Clara’s Big Ride event in 2014 as a Bell Aliant Community Champion, the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia has continued the tradition, calling on notable Canadian mental health advocates to keep the conversation going. Last year’s event featured Canadian icon and author Margaret Trudeau, who openly discussed living with bipolar disorder.

The event, presented by NorthWest Healthcare Properties, also features the stories and talents of Nova Scotians living well with mental illness.

Additionally, Let’s Keep Talking will honor Nova Scotians who have impacted the mental health community in the province. Let’s Keep Talking Awards will be given in five categories: Outstanding Individual, Outstanding Youth, Outstanding Senior, Outstanding Healthcare Provider and Outstanding Caregiver.



2016 VIDEO

Video produced by RPM Productions. On May 3rd, 2016 2016, five Outstanding Nova Scotians were honoured at the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia's Let's Keep Talking with Margaret Trudeau event. Here, they share their stories of living with mental illness, advocating for their loved ones, and working to impact change in the mental health system.


After the success of its “Let’s Keep Talking for Clara’s Big Ride” event in 2014 as a Bell Aliant Community Champion, the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia has continued the tradition with this legacy event, calling on notable Canadian mental health advocates to keep the conversation going.

Past Keynote Speakers
2016: Margaret Trudeau
2015: Michael Landsberg
2014: Clara Hughes

Past Award Recipients

2016: Linden Gray (Outstanding Caregiver), Dr. Emmanuel Aquino (Outstanding Healthcare Provider), Brandon Highmore (Outstanding Youth), Laurel Walker (Outstanding Individual), Trudie Helmke (Outstanding Senior).

2015: Heather Dempsey (Outstanding Caregiver), Kristi Kempton (Outstanding Healthcare Provider), Shawntay Rose Dann (Outstanding Youth), Bob Ransom (Outstanding Individual).




As long as we put one foot in front of the other and never give up, I think we’re kind of going somewhere right now.
— Clara Hughes