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Nova Scotia funding $3M in mental health and addictions grants

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia to fund $2M Mi’kmaw mental health, addictions strategy'
Nova Scotia to fund $2M Mi’kmaw mental health, addictions strategy
Nova Scotia is pledging $2 million to help with the creation of a Mi’kmaw mental health and addictions strategy. The initiative’s goal is to offer culturally appropriate care. As Callum Smith reports, that’s welcome news to those tasked with creating the framework – Mar 15, 2022

Nova Scotia’s provincial government is giving $3 million in grants to mental health and addictions programs in the province.

Expected to begin this summer, organizations will be able to apply through the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.

Priority for grants will be given to groups that serve Indigenous communities, LGBTQ2 communities, African Nova Scotians, people with disabilities and newcomers, the province said.

Read more: New mental health hospital in Halifax to offer day treatment starting in April

In addition, organizations that work with residents who face insecure housing, poverty, violence and trauma are eligible.

“The pandemic has been an especially challenging time for those with mental illness and addictions, particularly for groups who were already facing barriers to accessing support,” said Brian Comer, minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health.

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Comer said in the release this funding will “help make a positive impact on the health and well-being of Nova Scotians.”

Read more: N.S. social workers call for systemic overhaul of the mental health and addiction services system

This is the second mental health funding announcement from the province this week.

Nova Scotia announced Tuesday that it is providing $2 million in funding to a growing Mi’kmaw health and wellness organization to support the development of a Mi’kmaw mental health and addictions strategy.

The province said the money will go to Tajikeimɨk, a developing organization comprising a collaboration of 13 Mi’kmaw nations, which will be responsible for designing and delivering health and wellness services.

Last week, it announced a new mental health hospital that will offer day treatment for people in the Halifax area, with an initial capacity of 10 patients a day. When it opens in April, it will be the province’s first mental health acute day hospital.

Previously, the government has given the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia funding for similar grants.

In December 2020, the foundation funded 106 mental health and addictions programs through 78 organizations after a $1.625-million investment from the province.

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Read more: Nova Scotia to fund $2M Mi’kmaw mental health, addictions strategy

President and CEO of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia Starr Cunningham says the need for funding has never been greater.

“Nova Scotians who are struggling with their mental wellness, mental illness and addiction need to know there is help and there is hope,”  Cunningham said in the release.

“By increasing the number of community grants we fund, we are empowering organizations from one end of our province to the other. I am confident this support from the Office of Addictions and Mental Health will not only positively change lives, but also save them.”

— with files from Alex Cooke.

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