The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is one of the recipients of the 2021 Bell True Patriot Love Fund. Below they’ve answered some questions to help us learn a little more about their program, what they hope to achieve, and what they aim to do with the funding provided.

1. Tell me a little bit about your organization and its mission.

The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is a registered charity dedicated to increasing financial support to community initiatives that provide hope and eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness and addiction. In partnership, True Patriot Love is pleased to be supporting Landing Strong, a community-based program partner in Nova Scotia. The Bell True Patriot Love Fund grant will go towards the Veteran Wellbeing Support Project to help with the extension of the existing Landing Strong program. Funding will focus on adding resources and capacity to the mental health support platform.

The Bell True Patriot Love Fund supports the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia to make a difference in the lives of Nova Scotians living with psychological disorders and their loved ones by assisting participation of Veterans in the Landing Strong program to overcome the devastating effects of trauma exposure. Our collaborative approach through Landing Strong provides mental health services to members of the military, Veterans and first responder communities.

2. Can you describe your program in 3-4 sentences, including outlined objectives the program aims to achieve?

The Landing Strong program provides mental health services to members of the military and Veterans. Landing Strong’s program is an intensive treatment program designed to address mental, moral, physical, and social aspects of occupational stress injury. Treatment is delivered by registered psychologists and registered counseling therapists in the form of group therapy following individual clinical assessments. Therapists employ empirically supported strategies, techniques, and knowledge to help participants understand and overcome their injuries, achieve long-term behavior change, and reclaim parts of themselves that may have been lost.

3. What is the desired outcome of your program and its impact on the Veteran and military community?

The desired outcome of Landing Strong is to assist participants to overcome the devastating effects of trauma exposure. Its aim is to reduce isolation, create community, and offer tools and strategies to build resiliency and improve quality of life. It assists those who have been injured to learn how to manage emotions, develop critical skills for self-care, and make lifestyle changes that optimize health and wellbeing. These programs represent a powerful learning platform for individuals who want to transform their lives.

4. What does this grant from the Bell True Patriot Love Fund mean to you?

The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia has witnessed an ever-increasing demand for mental health and addiction support. This has been exacerbated by the pandemic with more Nova Scotians living with mental illness and addiction than ever before. This is particularly evident with support of Landing Strong where we have experienced increased numbers of Veterans seeking help without funding support. This funding allows us to offer services to Veterans who might otherwise fall through the cracks. It enables us to help the organization immediately address shortages in funding for these critical therapeutic services and therapy programs.