Community Grants

The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia administers a Community Grants Program to support individuals and organizations province-wide to undertake programs or services that will benefit the mental health of individuals throughout Nova Scotia. Examples of Community Grants Program projects include advocacy and anti-stigma programs, educational opportunities and wellness projects. 

The following projects have received 2015-2016 funding.

Funded for 2015-16

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


Kingston/Greenwood Mental Health Association (website)

The Kingston/Greenwood Mental Health Association is organizing an event that will bring first person voices and community members together for an opportunity to reduce the mental health stigma. People in attendance at the ‘Addressing Mental Health Stigma Together’ event will share resources, listen to presentations, participate in conversations, learn relevant facts about mental health, and hear first-voice stories.


Anger Management & Emotional Intelligence Program (HRM)

John Howard Society (website)

The Anger Management & Emotional Intelligence Program (AM&EI) is designed to address anger
management, stress management, communication and “emotional intelligence.” The program targets
issues of mental health, fosters skills for coping with anger and stress, and can help individuals
interact more positively and effectively in their community. Participants develop an understanding of
their emotions, self-awareness and their responsibility to manage emotions so as to recognize
triggers and cope through pro-social methods. Funding will be used to deliver 12 group program cycles
(four to eight participants each) and five private program cycles free of charge to participants.


Breakthrough with Community Agencies (Cape Breton)

EPIC (website)

Breakthrough with Community Agencies will engage youth ages 14-20, facing mental health and behavioural challenges to: confront crises and develop resiliency in expertly facilitated group sessions, give back through service to other marginalized community members, and develop healthier social relationships through interactions during the Breakthrough sessions.


Creating a Foundation for Mental Health in Nova Scotia (HRM/Valley)

Roots of Empathy (website)

The Roots of Empathy program teaches children in Nova Scotia classrooms to respect and include those with differences, creating a more positive, accepting school and community environment. The participation of a community family with a young baby helps to give children an understanding of themselves and others, hope for their own future and a broader sense of community. 


Fall Out

WillPower Theatre Association (website)

FallOut is a dramatic presentation, written and created to tour to junior high schools and high schools in Nova Scotia in October of 2015.  The play is about the long-lasting effects of cyber-bullying from three different angles; the victim, the bully, and the friend who stands by and does nothing. Each performance of FallOut will come with a workshop/discussion session; part of that will be sending Study Guides in advance, and will also have an online component.

FallOut is scheduled to visit 30 schools over three weeks.  It is anticipated that 10,500 students will see it and participate.


First Nations Leadership Training (Colchester/Cape Breton)

Leave Out ViolencE (LOVE) (website)

Youth in First Nations communities have been, and continue to be, significantly affected by the ramifications of residential schools and oppression. By providing youth with the opportunity to become role models and leaders within their own communities, LOVE works to equip them to break cycles of violence, addiction, stress, and depression. 


Four Leaf Clover Wellness (Annapolis valley)

Evangeline Club Annapolis Valley (website)

The Evangeline Club is a drop-in centre for people of all ages living with mental illness and/or social isolation within the Annapolis Valley area.

The Four Leaf Clover Wellness program encompasses four components of health promotion, which consist of art therapy, recreation/physical activity, nutrition, and mental health. Through monthly sessions, the program goal is to increase the overall physical and mental health of its members by promoting healthy behaviors and lifestyles.


Girl Talk & Express Yourself (pictou county)

Pictou County Roots for Youth (website)

Girl Talk, aimed at girls aged 15-18 (grades 9-12) is a forum for girls to discuss issues related to their self-esteem and self-worth, health and sexuality, relationships with family, peers and ‘significant others’. It is also an opportunity to expose girls to successful women in our community and have them learn from the journeys of women who have gone before.

Express Yourself, aimed at students from grades 8 -12, is an after school program that guides youth in finding their voice and expressing their opinions using performance art. This may include Spoken Word, poetry, music, dance and drama. Through Express Yourself, youth will be coached on these artistic forms and given the opportunity to express themselves on a stage in front of their peers and the community at large.

Halifax Leadership Training (HRM)

Leave Out ViolencE (LOVE) (website)

The Leadership Training Program provides youth who have experienced violence with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to educate their peers and communities about violence prevention, while continuing to develop their own capacities to make safe and healthy choices.


Healthy Homes Leadership Development

ACORN Canada (website)

Healthy Homes Leadership Development is a community leadership development project culminating in a city-wide leadership school, focused on issues around healthy homes – identified by the low income participants of the program. The objective is to foster community connections, break down barriers of isolation, build skills, and learn how to combat the negative health effects - particularly mental and emotional health - of living in substandard housing.


Ida & Daisy - Full Length Play

Down to the Wire Productions (website)

The first production of Ida & Daisy was funded by the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia through at 2014-15 grant. Presented at the Halifax Fringe Festival, it was a huge success. Ida & Daisy tells the story of two sisters living in rural Nova Scotia in the 1940s, facing a diagnosis of schizophrenia and its new meaning for their futures.The full version of the play will be work-shopped and debuted at the Ship's Company Theatre in Parrsboro for the 2016 season and will reach a new, wider audience, encouraging them to share their own stories and struggles.


Keeping Kids Safe in a Cyber World (HRM)

Family SOS (website)

Keeping Kids Safe in a Cyber World addresses online safety for children, youth, and educators. It is implemented in Elementary and Junior High Schools. The program is designed to give students and educators the tools to cope with issues related to “cyber safety” (“netiquette”, identity protection, coping effectively with cyber bullying, and the importance of good mental health and self-care).



Halifax Parks & Recreation (website)

The Let’s Get Lifted Program plans to empower youth to create positive change for themselves by exposing them to an array of recreational activities and pro-social outlets. These outlets include art therapy, African drumming, yoga, healthy cooking, as well as suggestions from the youth involved. The Program hopes to reach out and build positive relationships with youth in the Sackville area who are struggling with mental health diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, ADHD and PTSD, who may not have the same access to programs as youth in other parts of HRM.


Lighting the Way Forward (all regions)

Eating Disorders Nova Scotia (website)

Lighting the Way Forward: Phase II, will give Nova Scotians who are struggling with an eating disorder the opportunity to connect with trained and supported individuals who have recovered from an eating disorder themselves. Strong, collaborative relationships with the QEII and the IWK will ensure that those on waitlists or ineligible for treatment will get help.

These connections create benefits through navigation, practical strategies, peer support, and hope.


Mental Health and Depression Support Group (Annapolis Valley)

Canadian Mental Health Association Kings County Branch (website)

The Mental Health Depression Support Group provides a weekly source of support, education and advocacy for residents of Annapolis County living with mental illness or depression. The Support Group creates a safe environment to share experiences and build a peer network; allowing members to feel better able to cope with the challenges they face.


Mental Health for All Coffee House (HRM)

Canadian Mental Health Association Halifax-Dartmouth Branch (website)

The Mental Health for All Coffee House provides live entertainment and an opportunity for socializing Saturday afternoons in the spring, fall and winter. This initiative creates a welcoming, socially inclusive space for the whole community – helping to reduce stigma and create a caring environment where there is no “we and they” mentality. 


Peer Support Network Development (ANNAPOLIS VALLEY)

Survivors of Abuse Recovering - S.O.A.R (website)

SOAR provides excellent Peer Counseling training and these Peer Counselors deserve to be supported. SOAR's sustainability is improved when Peer Counselors are encouraged to learn, supported in their volunteer work, and celebrated for their dedication and hard work.  Funding will be use to offer training opportunities to enable the community of Peer Counselors to deepen their understanding of mental health challenges and opportunities in the community. They will create the opportunity to align knowledge about the relationship between mental health wellbeing, self-care, and trauma-informed practices.


Peer Support Network (HRM)

Laing House (website)

The Peer Support Network (PSN) provides a supportive environment where youth (aged 16 - 29) living with a mental illness can find the social and individual support they need as they share experiences over a meal and a recreational activity. PSN addresses the issues members face on a daily basis; stigma and the ensuing isolation from family, friends and the community, low self-confidence, and feelings of hopelessness.



Affirmative Ventures (website)

Petstuff on the Go operates as a social enterprise that serves as a training and employment platform for clients who are dealing with mental illness. Clients are provided with real work experiences while being supported by a job coach. Petstuff on the Go is planning to Retrofit its delivery van with additional bench seating, so there can be an increase in client participation in gaining work skills. This will allow approximately 80 people to have additional opportunities to increase their work skills over the next year.



Adsum Association for Women & Children (website)

Adsum House is an emergency shelter for women, youth, children and trans persons who are experiencing homelessness. Staff operate in a client centered non judgmental way offering support services to help people move from crisis to stability.

With funding from the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, residents will be able to participate in planned activities and events such as; hairdresser visits, crafts, yoga, baking, knitting, movie, sporting events, concerts, plays, bowling and special events in the community. This provides a healthy coping strategy to improve relationship building and strengthen physical, emotional and mental health and bring self-worth and self-esteem.


Raising Awareness in the Tri-County Area during Mental Illness Awareness Week – (South Shore)

CMHA Yarmouth, Digby, Shelburne (website)

CMHA will engage Lianne Perry, well-known in Nova Scotia for her skits and monologues on the topic of mental health and mental illness, much of which comes from her own experience. Lianne will visit Yarmouth during Mental Illness Awareness Week 2015 (Oct. 4-10) to do two presentations. One presentation will be for staff and students at NSCC Burridge Campus, and one will be for the public, also hosted at the college. These presentations will promote public awareness and education surrounding mental health issues and addictions.


Seeds of Success (HRM)

Northwood (website)

Long term care facilities are no longer just a residence for seniors at the end stages of life. They are now home to younger populations; people with challenging behaviours, dementia and many who experience mental illness. Seeds of Success is an activity based group treatment program for Northwood residents who are living with mental illness. The primary feature of Seeds of Success is a therapeutic gardening program, along with mainstream recreation mental health programming.



Canadian Red Cross Society (website)

Social isolation affects the psychological and cognitive health of seniors. It is associated with higher levels of depression and suicide.  According to research, 1 in 4 seniors lives with a mental health problem (e.g. depression, anxiety or dementia) or illness, and 10 to 15% of adults 65 years or older and living in the community suffer from depression. The Canadian Red Cross Society is developing a province wide Telephone Reassurance Program.  This program matches compassionate volunteers with socially or geographically isolated adults in both urban and rural Nova Scotia.  Volunteers call clients on a regular basis to check in and provide social interaction providing peace of mind for the client, and family. The purpose of the program is to provide social interaction and increased community participation and connectedness through engagement in volunteering with the program. 


The Compassion-It Project (Hants County)

SchoolsPlus West Hants (website)

This project takes a different approach to the issue of bullying. The Compassion-It project encourages people to act in a positive way, rather than instruct them how not to behave. SchoolsPlus is targeting the West Hants student population from grades 3 to 9 - approximately 1,500 students in 7 different schools. In addition, bracelets will be supplied to staff, students, volunteers, and community partners like Community Mental Health, Community Services, and the RCMP so students can see adults modelling the same behaviour. These bracelets will be worn with the black side facing out - when a person is witnessed completing a passionate deed, they will flip their bracelet to the white side, with the goal of transforming the whole community.


Granite Records (website)

The ‘INSIDE’ Project – Revealing, Healing and Empowering Youth through Live Music and Art, is a 15 session artistic program series for youth. It is designed to help them express, understand, release and embrace personal challenges or life experiences within a safe supportive group environment through the use of words, music and multimedia art.


The T-Shirt Project (HRM)

Outsider Insight (website)

Outsider Insight’s goal is to create a supportive community for artists living with mental illness. The T-shirt project will allow Outsider Insight to design, produce, market and distribute the work of several artists they work with. The designs of the t-shirts will be ‘conversation starters’ throughout the community, with the goal of contributing to the changing public attitudes towards mental illness, while providing a resource for artists in Nova Scotia.


User Friendly Mental Health Peer Support Group (Pictou County)

Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia, Pictou County Branch (website)

SSNS has identified a very strong need in Pictou County for a mental health peer support group that offers a place for people living with mental illnesses and mental health issues, as well as with concurrent disorders, to come together and meet with others who have struggled with similar challenges for conversation, learning, and support. With this funding, the group will offer weekly meetings with occasional guest speakers from the community, and monthly movie or educational video presentations of interest to the group.  Having others with whom one can share experiences can have a very positive impact on one's mental health, as well as to provide support in living the best possible life. 


Wellness Navigator Program (HRM)

Mainline Needle Exchange (website)

The objective of the Wellness Navigator Program is to empower and enable Mainline clients to make decisions about and participate in their own health care, thereby supporting the development of strong mental, emotional, and physical health by assisting them navigate the health care system in Nova Scotia. 

Youth Mentorship Program (Antigonish, cape breton)

Family Services of Eastern Nova Scotia (website)

The Youth Mentorship Program is a school-based mentoring program that is intended to reach kids ages 9-12 who could most benefit from a positive and consistent role model.  By matching the young mentee with an appropriate teen mentor, a meaningful relationship is created that leads to positive skill development and support.  Together, the mentor and mentee participate in training and activities that help build conflict resolution skills and promote positive development. The estimated impact is an increase in social competence, academic engagement, performance and grades, as well as a decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety.


X-ing Out the Stigma (ANTIGONISH)

St. Francis Xavier University Mental Health Connection Student Society (website)

X--‐ing out the Stigma is a Winter 2015 –2016 series of mental health literacy enhancing events involving the St Francis Xavier University and Antigonish communities. Health Literacy is considered one of the strongest social determinants of health, according to the World Health Organization. Through facilitating conversations among these two communities, including how and when to access community services and supports, the X Mental Health Connection Student Society aims to decrease mental health stigma and increase health seeking behaviours.



Learn more about this Named Community Grant

Community Kitchen Large Appliance Installation (HRM)

Veith House (website)

The installation of a cooking range and under-counter industrial dishwasher will provide significant opportunities for Veith House service users in all program areas. Veith House will be able to offer cooking, healthy eating, budgeting and nutrition programs that are otherwise inaccessible to its community members due to finances and other barriers. Trustee and Counseling clients who benefited from last year's vegetable garden will have the opportunity to learn how to use home grown food and prepare nutritious and budget-wise food for themselves and their families.


We Dig Food (South Shore)

Hinchinbrook Farm Society (website)

A previous grant allowed Hinchinbrook to build several raised garden plots and buy soil and seed to create a therapeutic garden. The benefit to the children, many who live with Autism Spectrum Disorders, is a combination of peaceful environment, sensory stimulation, and the knowledge of how food goes from plan to production to the dinner table. This summer, through Compass Group Canada Community Grant funding, Hinchinbrook will add more plots, increase the variety of foods grown, and increase the number of people who can participate. The team will build more frame arbor structures for climbing vines and shelter. Participants will also be able to take part in the production of jams and jellies using local raw materials.


Pictou County Community Grant

Learn more about this Named Community Grant

Art Therapy Program – New Hope

Nova Scotia Health Authority, Pictou County Mental Health & Addictions (website)

The New Hope Program provides psychosocial rehabilitation programming to clients age 19 and over who are living with severe and persistent mental illness.  The past spring clients and their family members enjoyed a one-day Art Therapy Workshop.  Clients now have an interest in furthering their involvement in painting and other forms of art for sell-expression, therapeutic recreation, and potentially as a cottage industry.  Anticipated benefits include increased quality of life, increased self esteem, and decreased stress.

Preserving Our Mental Health 

Nova Scotia Health Authority, Pictou County Mental Health & Addictions (website)

The New Hope Program provides psychosocial rehabilitation programming to clients age 19 and over who are living with severe and persistent mental illness. The New Hope Program provides a number of opportunities to participate in programs that provide structure, enhance self esteem, and facilitate client progress toward pre-vocational and social skill goals. One such project is a cottage industry entitled “Preserving your Mental Health” which produces high quality jams, jellies and pickles for sale to the public. Preserve products are put on display at any public presentations, events and walks to combat stigma of mental illness.  Proceeds from preserve sales come back to members to support group recreational outings and community meals.

Stand Up, Speak Out Program

Summer Street Industries (website)

The purpose of Stand Up, Speak Out is to provide support for people with disabilities surrounding their mental health and to promote discussion and a voice for advocacy for the intellectually disabled in hopes of eliminating stigma around mental illness.  Our project will provide education and information on aspects of mental health and mental illness to our clients in a group setting.  We will focus on developing a supporting resource library as well as providing presentations and workshops on many mental health related topics.  This project will help build self-confidence, self-esteem, improve social skills and work related skills of our clients.