The province is asking for interested community groups to apply for mental health and addictions funding under a new, more transparent and accountable grants process.
“We have reviewed best practices across Canada and believe we are embarking in a new, positive direction for those involved in the mental health and addictions field,” said Leo Glavine, Minister of Health and Wellness. “Our goal is to ensure that the best programs are supported so they can deliver the greatest value to those who need help.”
The grants are a key component of the province’s Together We Can mental health and addictions strategy, released in May 2012. These grants support not-for-profit community organizations as they work to improve the lives of individuals and their families who are living with mental health and addiction issues. Groups can apply each year for grants of up to $150,000.
With the new process projects valued at more than $30,000 will be evaluated by independent peer reviewers and an independent review board. People who use mental health and addictions services will provide valuable input on how projects may help those who need them. Previously, branch staff would review proposals and invite several content experts to provide feedback. Final approval rests with the province.
The Halifax-Dartmouth branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association received a grant from October 2014 to November 2015 to begin its Creative Collaborative Communities Project. This was a partnership between Self-Help Connection, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Colchester-East Hants branch, and Dalhousie University’s School of Health and Human Performance.
“Through this grant we were able to embark on a journey that hasn’t been chartered before in our community allowing us to work with our partners more closely, express ourselves creatively and visually while learning how we can share resources, break down barriers, develop trust, and greater collaboration,” said Bev Cadham, branch co-manager for the Canadian Mental Health Association Halifax-Dartmouth. “More and more, our communities need to be working together to build our capacity and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.”
Grants help create and run programs for at-risk children and youth, aboriginal and diverse communities, mental health and addictions promotion, primary care, seniors, reducing stigma and discrimination, people with disabilities, the workplace, substance abuse and gambling.
Letters of intent will be accepted until Jan. 29, 2016. After that, groups that qualify will be invited to submit a grant application.
Information on the grants can be found at novascotia.ca/dhw/mental-health/mental-health-addiction-strategy.asp .