Community Grants 2017-2018

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 2017-2018 funding:

Community grants

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

Mind Matters (eAST HANTS)         

East Hants Youth Links Youth Development Society (website)

This project will engage youth in a dialogue about mental health, within a comfortable, interactive, safe environment, where they can meet new friends, and have the opportunity to creatively express themselves. In partnership with local artists and community leaders youth will explore new skills in creative expression.  


Voice Hearers (HRM)         

Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (website)

Hearing voices is referred to as an auditory hallucination and is one of the symptoms of schizophrenia, psychosis. Schizophrenia affects one in one hundred people which would be approximately 4000 people in HRM. This is an innovative and alternative perspective of hope and recovery for people who hear voices. Due to the prevailing stigma about hearing voices, many voice hearers have kept silent about their experience, often feeling isolated. This program will offer safe place to release repressive energy by keeping quiet about their voices.


Client engagement at Back To Our Roots Urban Farm (HRM)

Partners for Care (website)

Back to Our Roots Urban Farm is situated on the grounds of the Nova Scotia Hospital overlooking Halifax Harbour.  It’s a community farm that uses gardening as a way to promote physical, mental and environmental health.  This is done by offering skills training and educational workshops on growing vegetables without pesticides, making healthy food more accessible to hospital clients and staff, and creating a space for growing food that’s supportive and welcoming. Funding will support garden programming for clients of the Nova Scotia Hospital.


Bigs in Blue (HRM)         

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Halifax (website)

During this pilot project, eight youth (aged 7-16) from marginalized communities will be matched with eight police officers. The officers will be hand selected by HRP and must fulfill the established requirements of the application process with BBBSGH. Four youth will be chosen from Halifax, specifically the Uniacke and Mulgrave communities and four from North end Dartmouth. This initiative will have a significant impact on these communities as it not only impacts the youth but their parents, siblings, peers and the greater community.


Anger Management& Emotional Intelligence (HRM)           

The John Howard Society of NS  (website)

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.


Under One Umbrella (CAPE BRETON)       

Share, Support & Recovery (website)

Under One Umbrella is a one-day event that provides support to individuals at risk of homelessness.   Organizers work with food banks, shelters and Mental Health & Addiction staff to ensure individuals referred to the day are in the highest need.


Halifax Leadership Training & Outreach Program (HRM)

LOVE (website)

The goal of the Leadership Training Program is to provide youth who have experienced violence and mental health issues with the skills and knowledge they need to become leaders. It is also an opportunity to develop and/or strengthen confidence in themselves and their leadership abilities. The skills and knowledge they develop in LOVE's Leadership Training Program enable Youth Leaders to conduct and design Community Outreach activities for a broad range of audiences.


LOVE Mi'kmaq Programs - Expansion of Services (HRM)                

LOVE  (website)

This project would involve expanding our work with Mi'kmaq youth (ages 12-23) living on-reserve in the communities of Sipekne'katik and Membertou, in a way that focuses on helping individuals to think about healing and the effects of trauma and crisis. This work will be done through outreach, intervention work, and traditional healing. Specifically, this expansion of LOVE's programs in First Nations communities includes increased presence of a full-time Mi'kmaq Youth Worker, collaboration with two community Social Workers, and a bi-weekly sweat lodge ceremony.


Page Turners - Central NS Correctional Facility Book Club (HRM)

Alderney Gate Public Library (website)

The main objective of this proposal is to provide inmates at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility with the opportunity to take part in a book club facilitated by volunteers and staff of The John Howard Society of Nova Scotia. Research has shown that prison book clubs have the potential to positively impact the lives of inmates - aiding in the development of social and interpersonal skills, communication skills, respect for diversity of thought and mental health. Such skills and mental wellness aid in reintegration into the community.


Transitional Support Housing for Veterans & First Responders  (HRM)

Society of Atlantic Heroes (website)

The overall vision of the Society of Atlantic Heroes is to provide supportive housing to Canadian military veterans, RCMP and first responders – both active and retired who are experiencing personal and financial challenges in managing Occupational Stress Injuries (OSIs) associated with PTSD and/or moral injuries.   It is our long-term goal is to establish Canada’s first fully integrated Transition Support Centre of Excellence in the Atlantic region that will contain 20-30 suites to accommodate individuals who are deemed “at-risk.” 


Finding Your Voice (HRM)

Healthy Minds Cooperative (website)

Finding Your Voice is a peer-lead group designed to help people, living with mental health issues, better articulate their experience.  Participants will be working on creating and sharing their recovery story.  The program will focus on exploring participants life experiences in a safe and supportive environment, with the intention of building the confidence they need to share their story with family, friends, doctors, health care team and, the greater community, if they so desire. 


Developing Autism Arts Curriculum (HRM)

Autism NS (website)

The Autism Arts program, developed by Autism Nova Scotia, has been providing children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with an opportunity to practice self-expression through creating art since 2006. The safe, supportive environment offered by Autism Arts encourages organic social interaction and inclusion, and is much beloved by participants and their parents.


Circle of Healing  (HRM)                 

New Start Society (website)

“Circle of Healing” is a twelve-week group for women who have experienced intimate partner violence and who wish to address the effects of that trauma on their mental health in a therapeutic environment with other women.  The overarching objectives of the group are to foster community and creativity in order to help women participants shift toward more positive identity conclusions and empowerment.  This will be done through the use of artistic expression, movement, connection with nature, and therapeutic conversations. 


Whole Campus, Whole Mental Health (ANTIGONISH)             

Student Societies for Mental Health at SFXU (website)

The Whole Campus, Whole Mental health project will consist of a series of smaller events that will be run on the St.FX University Campus in the 2017-2018 academic year. The goal of the project is to provide opportunities for students, staff, faculty and community members to identify how their mental health is intertwined with their community, and how they can take action to educate themselves on mental health literacy and participate in actives aimed at maintaining wellness.



Learn more about this Named Community Grant

Housing First (Cape Breton Community Housing Association)

Housing First Community Kitchen (website)

This project will help build relationships with the Nova Scotia Brotherhood Initiative by directing participants in cooking workshops and building food-related skills and security.


Pictou County Community Grant

Learn more about this Named Community Grant


The Bright Smiles Project

Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Association (website)

The Bright Smiles Project will provide for dental services, over a twelve month period, for adults living with a documented mental illness.  The participants must live in Pictou County and have incomes substantially lower than the general population.  Each participant will receive a full dental exam, bite-wing x-rays, up to four units of scaling, ½ unit of polishing, treatment and a recall exam and cleaning after one year.  They will also be provided with oral care products for the year, education and information on caring for their teeth, proper nutrition, and the effects of smoking and medications that cause dry mouth. 

Music Makes Connections

Maritime Odd Fellows Home (website)

A high percentage of residents in long term care suffer from depression, anxiety and loneliness, particularly residents living with mental illness and dementia. Music therapy has been proven to be an effective non pharmaceutical approach to alleviating these symptoms in our population. Music therapy modalities help to improve self-awareness, build relationships, and improve communication, self-expression and socialization.


JSMT Community Grant

Learn more about this Named Community Grant


Friends Gathering

Connections Sackville (website)

This is a community-based group for people who have severe and persistent mental illness. The group offers weekly programming and supports while using the principles of psycho-social rehabilitation under the recovery and integration model. This grant will help provide transportation to community activities for members and supplement in-house programming. Clinicians have noted clients who attend this group tend to require fewer psychiatric appointments and have reduced hospitalizations.