Nova Scotia Health Authority Mental Health & addictions, central zone grants

The Mental Health Foundation is pleased to offer Nova Scotia Health Authority Mental Health & Addictions, Central Zone (NSMHA) Grants to provide funds that enhance the services provided by the Mental Health & Addictions Program. NSMHA Grants are for projects that would not receive funding from capital or operating budgets. Grants typically focus on patient wellness initiatives, community education projects focusing on mental health, community access, and intervention strategies for identified populations.

Funded for 2017-2018

Read more about the Impact of Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia grants

Art enrichment group

6 and 7 Lane (Abbie J. Lane)

The participants of the Art Enhancement Program along with support from the Foundation will increase the ability to provide additional art supplies to improve specific skills and techniques of group participants.  It will create more opportunities for others with an interest in the creative arts to join the group.  The impact of this group could likely extend beyond that of the immediate participants, rather, it has the potential to influence others through the power of communication about the art created and shared. 


Art group

6 and 7 Lane (Abbie J. Lane)

The Art Room at 6 & 7 Abbie J. Lane grants inpatient and outpatient clients the opportunity to paint, draw, sketch, and create collages and crafts. The atmosphere is calming and relaxing, and CDs and educational materials are available for use. The Inpatient Art Therapy Program gives clients a chance to be alone in a peaceful, creative environment with volunteers and staff, with or without creative direction. The Outpatient Program, “ArtWorks,” is a weekly two hour group developed after requests from clients to continue art therapy programming after discharge.

change of scenery                                               

6 and 7 Lane (Abbie J. Lane)

This program offers patients the opportunity to access nature as part of their therapy throughout the recovery process.  All of the outdoor experiences are designed to support the recovery and rehabilitation of individuals experiencing mental health issues through the use of safe, supportive, natural environment. 


Coffee Hour Group                                                 

Emerald Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

Coffee Hour is an initiative aimed at providing clients of the Nova Scotia Hospital site, as well as community-dwelling individuals, with the opportunity to engage in a home-like and safe environment enjoying the company of others and improving their social skills. Clients and community members who attend this group enjoy complimentary coffee/tea and snacks while they are supported to socialize with their peers, building relationships and interpersonal skills.


Community Connections     

West Hants Community Mental Health

Community Connections will work to provide recreational/leisure, educational (personal development & coping strategies), and social opportunities to clients of West Hants Community Mental Health and Addictions.  The program will connect clients to the activities and opportunities available in their community that they may not be aware of or typically have the means to participate in. This grant will also provide support for transportation to appointments, food banks, and recreational and educational activities.


Connections Sackville Community Access    

Connections Sackville

Connections Resource Center is a community-based group for consumers who have severe and persistent mental illness.  The group offers weekly structure and support utilizing the principles of psycho-social rehabilitation under the recovery and integration model. The group provides a balance of structured and unstructured activities, with an emphasis on client empowerment, choice, and sense of belonging.

connecting with others               

Simpson Landing & Transition Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

Community Connections will assist clients to develop and maintain a connection to their community. As one of the key components of the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Model, community integration and sense of community belonging are essential to achieving and maintaining wellness for individuals living with mental illness. Clients will have the opportunity to research, plan, and participate in community-based leisure activities including gym visits, swimming, skating, festivals, movies, Mooseheads games, Neptune Theatre, and more. Program goals include: providing increased opportunities for socializing in a community setting, developinga leisure lifestyle that is meaningful to the individual and can continue once discharged, and to engage in purposeful and meaningful programs that aid in one’s recovery.


Creative arts

Transition Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

This project provides the opportunity to explore individual creativity in a supportive group therapy approach to treatment. This project allows individuals to express feelings and experiences in a variety of innovative ways, while interacting with their peers. 


Creative Expressions        

Acute Care, Mayflower Unit (Nova Scotia Hospital)

The Creative Expressions Project provides the opportunity to explore individual creativity in a supportive group therapy approach to treatment. This project allows individuals to express feelings and experiences in a variety of innovative ways, while interacting with their peers. 


Discover Your Senses

Community Transition Program (Lower Sackville)

The Community Transition Program (CTP) supports individuals with complex needs to reach their optimal potential by providing them with supports and skill development resources. Discover Your Senses aims to provide clients experiencing sensory processing difficulties with an opportunity to engage in activities with sensory items to have their sensory needs met. Funding will support the purchase of items including: rain sticks, weighted blankets, sensory motor kits, and a laser star projector. Clients at CTP exhibit symptoms of sensory processing difficulties which may contribute to unwanted behaviors, negatively impacting functioning. Use of sensory items may assist clients in sensory modulation, thus improving occupational function.


Don't Knock It until You try It

Transition Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

Clients in Transition Hall will learn new skills associated with accessing recreation.  Leisure education can promote independence, self-determination decision-making skills and an understanding of potential leisure barriers, problem-solving skills necessary to overcome these barriers and en enhanced understanding of the benefits associated with leisure. 


Friends Among Friends

Connections Dartmouth

This is a community-based group for individuals living with severe and persistent mental illness. The group offers weekly structure and support for its members, utilizing the philosophy of psychosocial rehabilitation. Emphasis is placed on consumer empowerment, choice and sense of belonging. Group activities highlight the development of living skills and community reintegration. Members participate in group outings to community based cultural events and gain the weekly opportunity to develop practical daily living skills. Preparing healthy meals, active socialization and time management techniques are all focused on. Funding will help provide bus tickets and gas to those with limited funds to be able to attend the group as well as community events.


Friends Gathering - Psychosocial Rehabilitation Group      

Connections Sackville

This is a group for consumers with a severe and persistent mental illness. The group offers weekly structure and support utilizing the principles of psychosocial rehabilitation. A balance of structured and unstructured activities, with an emphasis on empowerment, choice, and sense of belonging is provided. Funding will provide access to transportation to enable members to experience what others do regularly and easily. This may include bus trips to other communities, museums, local restaurants, recreational facilities, and festivals.


functional food    

Mayflower Unit (Nova Scotia Hospital)

This program, formally known as the "Now You're Cooking" program, provides patients the opportunity to explore cooking and baking using a supported therapy approach and teaches patients the bond between good nutrition and good mental health.


Physical Activity and Wellness

Community Transition Program (Lower Sackville)

CTP aims to assist clients with building skills and managing behaviours to assist them with reintegrating back to the community. The population at CTP varies and currently includes individuals from the ages of early 20's to late 50's with diagnoses that include Autism, Schizophrenia, Acquired Brain Injury, Personality disorders and Dementia. All clients at CTP are living with complex health issues that are preventing them from obtaining appropriate housing in the community. Get Connected! will allow clients who are not ready for community participation due to behaviors or illness symptoms, to still have opportunities for social interaction through structured on-unit programming. It will also allow those who are ready for community participation to have many opportunities to engage with their community. Programs will include on unit social programs (themed nights, holiday parties, unit BBQs), family and client events, community picnics and community outings to various locations (movies, bowling, museums, art galleries etc).


Get Up & Go!             

Acute Care, Mayflower Unit (Nova Scotia Hospital)

The Get Up and Go! project focuses on the recovery of participants from the Mayflower Unit by supporting them in their first steps to returning to their communities. Clients engage in shared experiences with others, learn skills, and are motivated to reestablish connections to leisure. Leisure education allows clients to gain self-confidence and independence, providing opportunities to explore personal leisure attitudes, awareness, values and perceived barriers in order to better understand the decision making processes and one’s lifestyle choices.


Girls Group                                                   

Emerald Hall

Girls Group makes a positive impact on the female patients at Emerald Hall by providing them with a safe and inclusive environment to discuss issues, feelings and interests. The group promotes positive interactions between clients, which enhances appropriate social skills that can then to be further used in the community. It also helps to increase individual engagement in hygiene and grooming tasks as the group enables the opportunity for self-esteem to be enhanced through creating and encouraging positive self-talk about self-care.  This funding also allows for positive engagements during 1:1 times for individuals who do not do well in group settings.


Healthy Body, Healthy Minds                                                   

Simpson Landing & Transition Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

This projects' objectives aims to engage clients of Simpson Landing to participate and a variety of physical activities and the arts to aid in the recovery process, improve wellness, and are transferable for maintenance post discharge in the community. Project objectives and estimated impact include increasing physical activity level and awareness to low cost/no cost community programs
and exploring and engage in activities of creative expression.


in the garden              

East Coast Forensics

This program will have many therapeutic benefits including improved physical strength, increased endurance and stamina, whilst improving attitudes towards healthy eating.  Patients will learn to manage stress associated with hospitalization, institutionalization and little access to nature. 


Independent Living Skills                

Community Transition Program (Lower Sackville)

The Health and Active Eating and Living Program gives clients access to various recreational passes and memberships on an individualized basis through assessment from an Occupational Therapist and Recreational Therapist. It also provides healthy eating opportunities by hosting regular cooking and skills development planning in the kitchen. The program is specifically designed to use an Integrated Care Approach to transition individuals from inappropriate settings to a more appropriate level of care with an established continuum of support within the community.


it takes a village

Simpson Landing & Transition Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

Simpson Landing is part of Recover and Integration services for those living with mental illnesses and concurrent disorder and is designed to help make the hospital-to-home transition easier for clients and their families. Having a sense of community belonging is essential to recovery and maintaining wellness for individuals living with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. One of the core principles and values of Psychosocial Rehabilitation is "to support full integration of people in recovery into their communities, where they can exercise their rights of citizenship, accept the responsibilities and explore the opportunities that come with being a member of a community and a larger society."


Journey to Recovery

Simpson Landing & Transition Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

This program takes place out of the hospital setting to encourage clients to take greater control over their daily decisions, which is an important transitional skill to community living. This experience is designed to promote greater self confidence and also fosters independence.


Let's Get Moving          

Borderline Personality Disorder Program (Nova Scotia Hospital)

This grant will support programming for BPDP’s Learn to Run/Walk Program for the Sole Sisters 5K run on June 11, 2016. The 12 - 16 week training program will take place in a familiar setting (the BPD Program) and serve as a safer and more supportive introduction to physical activity for many clients. Clients (all of whom are currently female) and their female supports will be invited to opt-in to the program, where they will receive encouragement and instruction from different speakers mostly from the running community on a weekly basis to serve as inspiration. Facilitators anticipate at the end of the program clients will have acquired: 1) greater confidence to continue running/walking on a regular basis in the community with other groups or individually, 2) a sense of empowerment and mastery, and 3) a larger sense of community outside the support they currently receive within the mental health system.


Let's Get social

Simpson Landing & Transition Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

One of the common identified needs of this population is to work on social skills and decrease social isolation. Developing positive social skills improves for an individual improves mental health, builds resiliency, and helps reduce harmful involvement in substance use. This project objectives are to provide clients at Simpson Landing with the opportunity to develop and build upon their social skills in a safe environment on-site as well as improve competency to participate in similar programs within the community to support their transition.


Living Leisure, Loving Life

6 and 7 Lane (Abbie J. Lane)

This program will help the mental health consumer to learn that leisure is more than just attending casual, fun activities.  Incorporating leisure activities means living fully with new focus and identifying loving life as an achievable outcome. 


Making Programs, Services Accessible to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

Public Engagement, Central Zone

This program will help make mental health information available to the community by using ASL interpreted and captioned videos on the mental health web site and the production of plain language brochures.  It will raise awareness of mental health services and programs in the community.


Meditative Spaces          

Mayflower Unit (Nova Scotia Hospital)

This will serve as a private space for clients to experience alone time. In this room, they will have access to material that have been clinically proven to promote relaxation: a massage chair, books, music, tea, arts and craft supplies, writing materials, and takeaway relaxation/exercise guides. Clients will be able to sign up for the room in 30 minute time slots to help alleviate physical symptoms and emotional distress, and engage in positive coping and relaxation techniques.


New Directions Peer Support Youth

Connections Dartmouth

This peer support group is for individuals aged 19-35 living with mental illness. This group allows young adults to lead with the participation and support from the staff. The aim is to provide relationships that facilitate social inclusion, social awareness, and peer support with the underlying emphasis on recovery and community integration. Activities vary from educational to social and leisure based. Activities are often structured around existing events to continue the creation of mental health awareness and to help youth to integrate and use other services available to them.  Youth have been exceptionally supportive and welcoming of each other and have consistently provided a safe, positive, and open environment.


Nourishing Needs     

6 and 7 Lane (Abbie J. Lane), Mayflower & Transition Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

The quality and associated enjoyment of good food brings consistent physical, mental, and emotional healing. Nurturing Needs has been developed to meet a need and demand from clients in the inpatient setting. The program includes a monthly meal out in the community accompanied with education; in-hospital meal planning meetings approximately once a month, followed by cooking the meal as a group; and community cooking classes every 6 weeks at a local grocery store, delivered by a dietician. This grant will allow participants to learn to care for themselves by making healthier choices, expand opportunities, be enabled to experience stronger community ties, be accountable for preparing their own food, and overcome previously acquired poor eating habits.


Recreation on Emerald & ICB                                         

Emerald Hall

The Emerald Hall team has created several therapeutic recreation and social groups (i.e. gym group, activity group, baking group, social skills group, community outing group), facilitated on a daily/weekly basis. There are also numerous occasions when a recreational or leisure activity is completed with clients on an individual (1:1) basis. The team also facilitates groups of clients on weekly community access and integration outings. Community outings are crucial in providing an opportunity for clients to transfer life skills learned and practiced during occupational therapy and developmental worker sessions to natural, non-institutional settings.


Running to Recovery

Mayflower Unit (Nova Scotia Hospital)

The Running to Recovery program will take place outside of the hospital setting, such as local parks, outdoor and indoor tracks and local trails.  The project will provide patients with different skills and techniques to build healthy relationships, increase self confidence and improve the mental and physical health and quality of life.  Running is a popular activity with lots of opportunities in the community for clients to engage in outside of this program. 


the social network                                                     

Community Transition Program

he purpose of the program is to assist clients with skill development to support them with reintegration into the community. CTP’s population varies and currently includes individuals from early 20’s to late 60’s with diagnoses that include Autism, Schizophrenia, Acquired Brain Injury, Personality Disorders and Dementia. Clients at CTP have had limited experience developing positive social skills and interactions, thus have a difficulty in developing and maintaining relationships. The purpose of this grant is to be able to support clients to achieve and maintain positive social interactions through a healthy leisure lifestyle.


Special Events                                                        

Emerald Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

Each year, Emerald Hall hosts special events such as its Family Christmas Party, Family Barbeque, Family Support and Spring Tea, Valentine’s Day Party, Halloween Party, Easter Party and larger community based programs. These events assist in normalizing the lives of the patients of Emerald Hall by providing opportunities for many of the patients to gain access to community based programming, practice life skills, make crafts, decorate the unit and enjoy food and beverages together.


Starting Fresh        

Simpson Landing, Occupational Therapy (Nova Scotia Hospital)

Venturing out on your own for the first time or perhaps restarting on fresh ground can be a very exciting yet overwhelming experience. The Starting Fresh grant will provide financial support to clients who are both in hospital, and going into an independent living, work or educational setting. Though this funding, individuals will be able to receive support to purchase basic items that are necessary when venturing out on your own. These items can include appropriate clothing for work, dishes, backpack, dishcloths, etc. Having access to these items can minimize the clients stress and anxiety associated with starting fresh.


Starting somewhere

Mayflower Unit (Nova Scotia Hospital)

This project is a collaboration initiative between the Acute Care Mayflower Unit and Specialty Services Services Transition Hall, to address basic and fundamental needs of individuals while in the hospital or leaving the hospital.  Providing an individual with basic needs will promote comfort during and after hospital admission, identify a sense of acknowledgment therefor making a difference in their recovery and current situation. 


Tuning Into Wellness

6 & 7 Lane, Acute Care (Abbie J. Lane)

Patients are offered a wide range of participation opportunities, shakers, guitars, keyboards, drums and their own instruments, not to mention their voices.  They are also provided music books which include lyrics and chords as well as the company of Recreation Therapists who are always willing to learn new songs.  If desired, sessions can even be recorded so that patients may keep them. 


walking group

Connections Dartmouth

The Walking Group provides an opportunity for clients of Connections Dartmouth to participate in and learn about physical activity and socialization within their community. This program hits all three goals of recreation therapy; leisure education, recreation participation, and functional intervention. Throughout the duration of the group, the facilitator communicates several aspects of leisure education including community resources, events, and activities, ways in which to acquire a membership with the Sportsplex, free or low cost programs in the community, weekend and daytime leisure activity planning, and answers to any questions participants may have.


Wellness Garden

6 & 7 Lane, Acute Care (Abbie J. Lane)

The Wellness Garden began in 2009 and continues to greatly benefit clients, providing a tranquil environment which includes four raised garden beds, a gazebo, patio furniture, basketball net, and water foundation. This grant will support group activities in the garden, barbecues, and garden supplies such as soil, vegetable and flower seeds. Programming will help provide structure to clients’ day, assist in the development of new interests and meaningful hobbies, and provide healthy interactions with their environment and peers.