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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 2018-2019

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

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.

Balancing the future

Connections Sackville

This program helps individuals with a mental health diagnosis that has limited there social development and has ongoing symptoms. These symptoms hinder their ability to experience activities in the broader community leaving them isolated. Having the ability to experience community activities within a group provides clients with a sense of safety and confidence, as well as receive support with residual symptoms from staff, as they explore new opportunities together. 

Build social skills through leisure 

Transition Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

This project is designed so that it will benefit all clients on Transition Hall regardless of their stage of recovery. It will allow for clients to achieve goals related to social skills that are required for community engagement and successful community living. It will allow for both on unit and community opportunities. This grant will allow for previously established programs to continue and will also build upon existing programs. A variety of programs including client lead Coffee Talk, weekly community Walk and Talk, on site and community holiday events, Client and Family events and individual leisure opportunities will be offered.

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. 

Clothes City

6 and 7 Lane (Abbie J. Lane)

Clothes City has been providing clothes and shoes, free of charge, to mental health consumers in need for many years. The team of 5 volunteers who run Clothes City includes mental health consumers and non-consumers alike. Clothes City is an excellent example of a fully integrated project where no segregation exists between the responsibilities and participation of mental health consumers and non-consumers.

Coffee Hour and social skills tea 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.

Cooking for health

Connections Sackville

This program will assist in promoting health by providing help in developing good eating habits and increase skill development in meal preparation. Learning healthy choices by following Canada's food guide and delivering cost effectiveness when working on a limited budget. 

Creative Expressions        

Acute Care, Mayflower Unit and Transition Hall (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. 

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. 

Explore the Outdoors 

Transition Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

The focus of this grant is to provide clients with leisure opportunities in outdoor settings to help foster and develop transferable skills upon discharge into the community. Engagement in meaningful leisure such as outdoor recreation that  impacts one's mind and body, fosters self-determination and self-actualization through the acquirement of well being and self-identity. Outdoor recreation can also equip individuals with skills that can be used daily and are transferable across a realm of occupations.

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    

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.

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 (Nova Scotia Hospital)

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.

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.

Learning through seeing and doing

Emerald Hall (Nova Scotia Hospital)

The Learning Through Seeing and Doing project aims to provide structured activities with the goal of building important skills across a variety of domains. 

LEARNING to live

Eating Disorder Program

This project will promote community involvement, provide exposure to creative outlets and generate important life skills for our patients in our Eating Disorder Program. Thereby accelerating discharge, promoting recovery and preventing relapse. 

Let's get physical

Community Transition Program

The purpose of this program is to increase our clients physical activity level with four main focuses; to overcome barriers to participate in community programs through providing physical activities that accommodate their individual needs, engaging socially in meaningful physical activities in a safe and therapeutic environment, developing self confidence and self-efficacy to meet individualizes exercise goals, and to achieve and/or maintain a healthy body weight. This grants effectiveness will be monitored by progression towards client’s goals through observation and feedback from the clients. 

Life Skills and Coping 

Community Transition Program 

The objects of this program are to assist clients in building upon their life skills and coping skills by breaking down the barriers to participation they face, both in relation to symptoms of their illness and due to resource limitations in the health care system. 

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. 

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.

Music Program

Connections Dartmouth/East Coast Forensics

This program will impact our clients is a variety of ways, focusing on a range of health domains. The three main domains that will be focused on, but not limited to, will be social, emotional and environmental health. 

New Directions Youth Group

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 (Nova Scotia Hospital)

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 Program                                                     

Community Transition Program

The 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.

Sports program

Connections Dartmouth

The objective of this program is to provide clients with a self-motivated choice in leisure participation, increase opportunities for low cost or free physical activities and to support socialization with peers. 

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.

Staying Connected 

Simpson Landing (Nova Scotia Hospital)

Feeling connected to their community and having a sense of belonging is a vital piece of the recovery process for individuals living with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. One of the guiding principles of Psycho-social 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." 

Staying Social

Simpson Landing (Nova Scotia Hospital)

Developing positive social connections has been shown to improve mental health, build resiliency, and reduce harmful involvement in drug and alcohol use. "Staying Social" aims to provide clients at Simpson Landing with the opportunity to practice and build upon their social skills in a safe environment on-site as well as in the community setting, helping to support their transition to independent living

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.

Whole Health 

Simpson Landing (Nova Scotia Hospital)

Whole Health objectives aim to give clients of Simpson Landing the opportunity to participate in a variety of physical activities and creative expression groups that will aid in the recovery process, improve wellness, and are transferable for maintenance post discharge in the community.