News release

Community Organization Recognized for Innovation in Mental Healthcare

Strongest Families Institute is Nova Scotia’s recipient of the Council of the Federation Award for Innovation in Mental Health and Addictions Care.

The organization recently developed a way to ensure clients can access their personalized mental health supports even when not connected to the internet. Clients are able to download the programming to the institute’s app so they have motivational reminders, tips and prompts to help them overcome or manage anxiety and depression at their fingertips.

“We need to improve care for those experiencing mental health and addictions challenges, and that means looking at how we can do things differently,” said Premier Tim Houston. “Strongest Families Institute, like many organizations across the province, is doing innovative work every day. This award is a great way to celebrate and support that work.”

Canada’s premiers announced the one-time award in February to recognize individuals or organizations who have made innovative contributions to mental health and addictions care.

There are 13 recipients – one in each province and territory. The recipients each receive $5,000 to further develop their work.


We are honoured to be recognized by Canada’s premiers. Our team is focused on delivering accessible and timely evidence-based programs to improve mental health and well-being. Our online platform includes an easy-to-use app that customizes care to meet people’s needs – when and where they need help. It also creates efficiencies in our organization, allowing us to devote more time and resources to client care. We are incredibly proud of Mark Long for his long-standing leadership, along with many of our other team members who are committed to advancing this work. Patricia Lingley-Pottie, President and CEO, Strongest Families Institute

We are incredibly proud of the innovative work being done across our province. We applaud Canada’s premiers for putting the spotlight on exceptional groundbreaking achievements in the field of mental health and addictions care. Congratulations to Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie, Mark Long and the Strongest Families Institute for receiving this provincial honour. The Foundation is pleased to have played a role. Starr Cunningham, President and CEO, Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:

  • 20 nominations were received from individuals and organizations across the province
  • nominees were asked to demonstrate how their project embraced innovation and share anticipated or actual project outcomes
  • a committee with representatives from the Office of Addictions and Mental Health and the Mental Health Foundation evaluated the nominations
  • Strongest Families Institute provides mental health services to children, youth, adults and families using telephone coaching coupled with online support materials
  • the Council of the Federation was established in 2003 as a way for Canada’s 13 premiers to promote co-operation, foster meaningful relations between governments and provide national leadership

Additional Resources:

Strongest Families Institute:

News release – Call for Nominations for New Mental Health and Addictions Care Award:

Council of the Federation Award for Innovation in Mental Health and Addictions Care: