Advocacy is defined as a process of supporting and enabling people to express their views and concerns, access information and services, and defend and promote their rights and responsibilities. Advocacy is about encouraging the community to support one another, and being inclusive of everyone within the community.
CMHA-Kings sees advocacy as having three major aspects:
Kings County currently has a severe lack of affordable housing. It is very difficult to find affordable housing within the area not only for single people, but also families.
CMHA-Kings owns two duplexes in Kentville, comprising 1 – 3 bedroom unit, and 3 – 2 bedroom units. These homes have been purchased with funds from the federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy program.
These are offered at affordable rates, heat and power included, to people who live with mental illness who are actively working on wellness. “Affordable” varies, but generally means that a family of four must have less than $35,000 of income in a year. We ask for a criminal record check, proof of income, and have rules regarding pets to make sure that the animal fits into our housing.
If all places are filled, we will let you know that and offer the option of joining a waiting list. We reserve the right to choose the best fit of people for our homes and the other tenants involved.
If there is a current or upcoming vacancy, and you would like to be considered for tenancy, please review the process below and complete and submit the Application Form.
Within two weeks you will be contacted to meet with the Housing Committee to discuss your needs and goals, and whether these homes are the correct fit for you.
CMHA-Kings Housing Application Process (click here for printable Application Process )
1. Complete Application form. This includes information about your diagnosed mental illness disorder and your income, both of which are important criteria for tenancy consideration.
2. Deliver the completed Application Form to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 902-679-7460, or deliver to the CMHA-Kings office.
3. CMHA-Kings Housing Committee reviews the application
* If your application is not accepted, you will be notified
* If your application is accepted, you will be asked to complete this form: CMHA-Kings Housing – permission to communicate MHA or your family physician will be contacted as necessary.
4. Within a week after you have submitted your Letter of Permission to Communicate, you will receive an appointment for an interview. This interview may have up to 4 people (CMHA-Kings, MHA, other supports) involved in addition to you.
5. At the interview, your Application will be reviewed by you and the interview team, and we will have a conversation about your mental health, your housing needs and your tenancy history.
* If your application is not accepted, you will be notified
* If you meet the tenancy criteria and are accepted as a possible candidate for tenancy, then you must complete the mandatory criteria step (police check, proof of income, and other requirements such as neutering pets, reducing number of pets)
6. If you successfully complete the mandatory criteria, then you are accepted. We will discuss the lease and its conditions. The lease will then be signed by you and CMHA-Kings Executive Director in the presence of CMHA-Kings Housing Committee and other support worker(s).
7. If your application is not accepted, you may request a meeting with the interview team to understand why you were not chosen. Applicant fit is an important factor in assigning the units to tenants.
What we do
At Work/Au Travail supports individuals whose mental health issues pose barriers to employment. We assist clients to implement their employment goals, and provide information about employment, training, volunteer and community resources. We work to create and maintain positive relationships with employers and community partners.
We offer many services through our program, such as:
- Career counselling
- Job search assistance
- Resume & cover letter creation
- On-the-job training with Job Coach
- Interview preparation
- Access to training (WHMIS, First-Aid, Food Handlers, etc.)
- Access to work-related resources (work boots, training courses, personal protective equipment, and
- Mental health education for employers and colleagues
Through a strengths-based approach, clients develop and specialize skills that will allow them to sustain employment and be meaningful employees that will contribute to business success.
We are funded through the Opportunities Fund. Please click to download an At Work Referral Form.
CMHA-Kings worked in partnership with the Community Health Board and the Nova Scotia Health Authority in 2017-2018.
People who live with chronic mental illness have disproportionately higher rates of smoking (2-4 times more than the greater population) and related chronic illness. Most require increased supports to maintain mental wellness while overcoming their nicotine addiction. We address the modifiable risk factor of tobacco use; it’s normalization; the stigmatization of those living with mental illness; and the gap of effective smoking cessation for this marginalized community. Best practice cessation was delivered through innovative collaboration of peer mentors, community professionals, and healthcare.
Evaluation included pre/post assessments (CO2 levels, nicotine addiction, other health behaviours); participation rates; and measures of attitude, beliefs and practices in health care. Outcomes included smoking reduction/cessation, improved access to and participation in programs/supports, demonstrate efficacy of peer mentoring, and re-orientation of health care.
Please read CDIF Smoking Cessation Final Report for more information on the outcomes and learning of this project.
CMHA-Kings is in partnership with Kentville Community Garden and Berwick Community Garden.
The Community Garden is focused on growing edible gardens and increase awareness around food insecurity in the valley by growing and sharing produce. A community garden is any piece of land gardened by a collection of people, using either individual or shared plots on private or public land. Community gardens provide fresh food as well as contributing to a sense of belonging and connection to nature, as well as providing an opportunity for satisfying labour and neighbourhood improvement.
How does gardening help mental health?
- Looking after plants gives us a sense of responsibility
- Gardening allows us all to be nurturers
- Gardening keeps us connected to other living things
- Gardening helps us relax and let go
- Working in nature releases “happy hormones”
- Being around plants and flowers reminds us to live in the present moment
- Gardening is fun AND easy!
(Sarah Rayner, Psychology Today)
How can you be involved?
- Join the Community Garden Club and become a plot holder
- Participate in CMHA Garden activities for learning and peer support
- Visit S.O.U.P. Fridays 9:30 am-2 pm at The Salvation Army (15 Nichols Avenue, Kentville)
The Elaine Arsenault Fund is available to available to people living with severe and persistent mental illness to pay registration fees to participate in adult social, recreational or educational activities. This funding helps to combat the isolation and stigma felt by many mental health consumers. Good physical health increases the potential for good mental health.
Elaine Arsenault was an adult mental health support worker for many years at Annapolis Valley Health, and a dedicated CMHA-Kings Board member. This fund was set up in her memory, and is funded by community donations.
Examples of previous funding grants have included yearly gym passes, registration in sports leagues, and classes in computers, creative writing, cooking, yoga and drama.
The EAF Committee meets during the third week of each month to consider applications received.
The EAF Committee is composed of one CMHA staff representative and two members of the community, and follows the Elaine Arsenault Fund Committee Terms of Reference, reporting to the Board of Directors of CMHA-Kings.
Haelen House is a new initiative for CMHA-Kings. “Haelen” is an old Saxon word meaning “healing; holy”, and its derivative is still in use today when we describe someone as being “hale and hearty” when they are strong and well.
This project came about as a result of our very successful Shelter Me housing program, and was funded by The Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy for Rural Communities, as administered by the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia (AHANS). We were one of six agencies invited to apply for Capital Funding during the summer of 2013, and we put together a strong proposal in partnership with the Mental Health and Addictions Services (MHAS) department of Annapolis Valley District Health Authority (AVH). We were notified that we were successful in September 2013, and the funding came through on March 10, 2014, to be spent by March 31st, 2014.
We bought a duplex in Kentville, with a three bedroom upper apartment and a two bedroom lower apartment. The federal funding covered the purchase and closing costs, the installation of new windows and doors throughout, two heat pumps, electrical panel upgrades, and the removal and replacement of asbestos tile flooring.
The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia has contributed money to the purchase of appliances and some furnishings.
When we purchased the house, Brenda Main, Executive Director of CMHA-Kings, thought “This is a house where I would be happy to live”, and one tenant cried tears of relief when she moved from a cramped upper apartment in the midst of asphalt, and started paying almost $400 less per month for rent for a larger, warmer space that “felt like home” from the moment that she saw it.
The tenants of this building are families where a parent or child lives with a severe and persistent mental illness. The affordable rent is set to the DCS housing allowance for income support, and includes power and water. The house is on a bus route, and is within walking distance of NSCC Kingstec, the elementary school, all the services of downtown Kentville, grocery stores, and the hospital. All tenants receive support from AVH MHAS Community Support Workers in order to progress toward their goals, as well as support from CMHA-Kings staff.
Mental Health First Aid for Adults Who Interact with Youth (MHFA) is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved. MHFA For Adults Who Interact with Youth focuses on mental health problems and first aid for youth ages 12 to 24. Mental health problems often first develop during adolescence or early adulthood, with half of all mental disorders beginning by age 14, and 75 percent beginning by age 24.
Anyone can benefit from Mental Health First Aid for Adults Who Interact with Youth (MHFA). It is open to members of the general public. Families affected by mental health problems, teachers, health service providers, emergency workers, frontline workers who deal with the public, volunteers, human resources professionals, employers and community groups are just a few of the groups who have benefited from MHFA.
The following mental health problems are covered: mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychosis, eating disorders, deliberate self-injury and substance use disorder.
The following mental health crisis situations are covered: suicidal behaviour, overdoses, panic attacks, reactions to traumatic events, and psychotic episodes.
This is a 14 hour course delivered over two days. The cost is $150.00 ($120.00 for non-profits or for organizations sending more than 10 people). Please note: you are not considered registered until payment has been received.
For a more detailed course description, visit Mental Health First Aid – For Adults Who Interact with Youth.
Training sponsored by Canadian Mental Health Association -Kings County Branch.
To register, please fill out the form below. Most sessions are held in the Kentville/Wolfville area.
For more information, please contact us at email@example.com or 902-679-7464.
CMHA-Kings, in partnership with Community INC, now delivers Nova Scotia Works employment services in Kentville. Nova Scotia Works helps Nova Scotians understand, prepare for, and fill the needs of the province’s job market. We support clients during education, job search, and employment, and we assist with resume development and provide workshops.
61 Webster Street
Kentville, NS B4N 1H4
(formerly “Shelter Me” Housing Project)
The CMHA-Kings County Branch introduced in July 2012 a one-year program called “Shelter Me”. This was renewed in 2013-2014, and has been renewed again for August 2014 through to March 2019. This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy for Rural Communities.
In the fall of 2014, it became apparent that the name of the project needed to change to accurately reflect the services provided. The “shelter” in the name misled people to think that we provided emergency shelter, whereas we work on a rapid housing and eviction prevention model. The name also led some clients to believe that the program provided a “hand-out” rather than a “hand-up”.
The program provides a supportive housing framework, based on housing outreach and intensive case management that works through a strength based and peer empowerment model. The project was renamed “Project HOPE.” HOPE stands for Housing Outreach and Peer Empowerment.
Project HOPE is designed to assist individuals living with mental illness in Kings County who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to implement long-term solutions to obtain and retain housing.
The services include housing placement, eviction prevention, referral to appropriate agencies, skills training, ongoing support, and intensive case management to minimize barriers to finding and retaining housing.
Targeted workshops – covering apartment searching, tenancy issues, computer skills, budgeting and other life skills (topics vary based on needs of attendees).
For More Information Contact
Project H.O.P.E Lead
Project H.O.P.E Support Worker