Nova Scotians with mental illness will soon have more support and advocates. The Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division will receive a grant of about $30,000 from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission to deliver the Mental Health Advocates Training Project. The charitable association, which promotes the mental health of all Nova Scotians and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness, will partner with the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia and the Dalhousie University School of Nursing to deliver the project. “We are very pleased with the focus of the project which will provide training to those who advocate for themselves, for their peers, for their families and for fellow citizens, rather than professional legal advocates,” said Krista Daley director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. “People with mental illness often face discrimination and exclusion based on prejudice, stigma and fear, and when that happens they are often at greater risk of experiencing substandard services.” The grant is part of a settlement agreement reached in the human rights complaint of H. Archibald Kaiser against the Executive Council of Nova Scotia. The government agreed to provide $90,000 to the commission to be allocated to projects to assist people with mental disabilities in accessing legal education, justice services, and other advocacy initiatives. This is the third and final grant to be allocated in conjunction with the Nova Scotia Disabled Persons Commission. In the first phase of the project, Reach Nova Scotia, a charitable organization providing access to justice and human rights, received $30,000 to develop a framework for legal education and advocacy for mental-health consumers. The second funding allocation was granted to the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia to develop an extensive resource manual for training mental health advocates. The manual includes seven modules to train people to be effective advocates for people with mental illness who may not be aware of their rights and need help accessing services or addressing issues that infringe on their dignity and self-worth. It was conducted in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association. A selection panel with representatives of the Disabled Persons and Human Rights Commissions reviewed proposals and selected Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division as the successful applicant. “Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division thanks the Nova Scotia Human Rights and Disabled Persons Commissions for the opportunity to strengthen the supports for mental health consumers,” said executive director Carol Tooton. “Advocacy is necessary because people with mental illness who have been socially marginalized may not be aware of the rights they share with other citizens.” The announcement of the project comes during Mental Health Week when numerous events have been planned to bring awareness to mental health issues and promote mental health.