The Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division acknowledges that we are in Mi’kima’ki, the ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq People. This territory is covered by the Treaties of Peace and Friendship which the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet people first signed with the British in 1725. The treaties didn’t deal with the surrender of the land.
It established the rules for an ongoing relationship between nations.
We are also in HRM which was settled and built by people of African ancestry in the 18th and 19th centuries. These people were formative in the building of our communities in meaningful ways and have contributed to the development of Nova Scotia as we know it today.
We must not forget that we are all treaty people and that we have responsibilities to each other and to this land.
Our Vision: A Canada where mental health is a universal human right.
Our Mission: To ensure that all people in Nova Scotia experience good mental health and well-being.
Who we are, What we do
Education. Navigation. Advocacy.
The Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division supports the resilience, recovery and well-being of people living with a mental illness and those experiencing mental health challenges across the province.
We are a federated charity, which means we are a collective of organizations bound together by a brand and mission.
At the national level, we push for nationwide system change. At the provincial level we advocate for policy change, deliver programs that support education, connection, employment and housing.
Our programs are free to access and available to anyone living in Nova Scotia. At the community level our branches support the resilience and well-being of Nova Scotians through social programs, education and advocacy based on the needs of the community. Together, we identify and respond to Canada’s most pressing mental health priorities.
Education: We offer inclusive, evidence-based mental health programming and education across the province.
Navigation | Coordination: We connect all people in Nova Scotia with safe, inclusive and accessible mental health programs, services and support.
Advocacy: Working with our allies and partners, we push for new systems, policies and practice that foster better mental health and well-being.
- Programming: Programming and education across the province.
- Systems Change: At the division level, we advocate for mental health system change, educate, and influence societal beliefs and behaviours to create a climate of understanding and acceptance. Working with our allies and partners, we push for new systems, policies and practice that foster better mental health and well-being.
- Advocacy: And we advocate to improve the spaces, places and conditions that shape mental health.
- Inclusive: We want all people in Canada see themselves represented and served by CMHA. We value the voice of those who have experienced mental illness. We recognize a diverse range of mental health approaches.
- Progressive: We improve society by advocating for the conditions and policies required for good mental health.
- Proactive: We are leaders. We value action over talk. We will innovate and think ahead to continue to address and improve mental health in Nova Scotia.
- Compassionate: We lead with the heart. We are compassionate, empathetic and caring. We approach our mission with love and kindness.
- Collaborative: We mobilize and marshal resources, partners and people to come together to realize necessary changes in our communities and in the mental health system in Nova Scotia.
A Message from our Executive Director
There has never been a more critical time to be fiercely intentional and bold in our actions to reduce stigma and enable Nova Scotians to experience good mental health and well-being. COVID has exposed and amplified the societal cracks we all knew were there and has made it impossible to continue to ignore.
Over 37% of Canadians say their mental health has declined since the onset of the pandemic. Even greater numbers have reported distress in vulnerable communities.
We operate in a complex mental health system. There is no clear ‘front door’ to this system and, once inside, there is plenty of confusion on the next steps.
Our role in this province is to work with all of our partners to co-create a system that is built on the wisdom of ‘first voice’. One where the social determinants of health are woven into the DNA. One where truth, justice and reconciliation are at the forefront. One that is infused with social justice addressing historical inequities.
One that meets Nova Scotians where they are.
Together, it’s time to elevate and amplify the good work we are all doing to create the conditions to achieve our mission to ensure that all people in Nova Scotia experience good mental health and well-being.
Yours in community.
Karn Nichols, Executive Director
Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division
Contact Karn: email@example.com