Recreation for Mental Health

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About the Recreation for Mental Health (R4MH) Project

The goals of the R4MH project are to support the development of a variety of recreation engagement opportunities across the recovery and resilience spectrum for people who experience mental health challenges (e.g., poor mental health or mental illness). Because everyone has mental health, we saw the benefit of developing these opportunities for people of all ages, from children and youth through to older adulthood.


The purpose of the R4MH project is to show the ways in which recreation can be ‘for’ every person’s mental health. We also wanted to support collaboration between mental health workers and recreation workers to create new programs and/or adapt existing ones for individuals with mental illness living in community so that all people can experience the mental health benefits of recreation participation.

The R4MH website has been developed for the use of all in the community. It holds a variety of mental health resources, training, and useful tools in order to better connect the community to the recreation opportunities that will have positive effects on mental health.  

R4MH Vision:  All Nova Scotians experience the benefits of recreation for mental health.


R4MH Mission:  To work together across recreation and mental health sectors to support the inclusion of people living with mental health challenges in the recreation life of their community.

Meet the R4MH Team!

The Recreation for Mental Health (R4MH) is a collaborative effort of Dalhousie University, Recreation Nova Scotia (an umbrella advocacy organization for recreation organizations in the province) and the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). The overall purpose of the R4MH project has been to promote collaboration between health and recreation sectors in Nova Scotia in order to address the challenges associated with community recreation participation commonly experienced by people with mental health challenges. There has been a substantial research component within this project—check out the summaries of our research at http://www.rec4mentalhealth.com/research-projects.


R4MH research team members include:


Debbie Bauld, Recreation Nova Scotia.

Robyn Burns, R4MH Research Assistant and graduate student, School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie           University.

Dr. Fenton, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/kinrec/about/fenton.html)

Dr. Karen Gallant, Assistant Professor, School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University. (https://www.dal.ca/faculty/health/health-humanperformance/faculty-staff/our-faculty/leisure-studies/karen-gallant.html)

Dr. Rob Gilbert, Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences (https://www.dal.ca/faculty/health/health-sciences/faculty-and-staff/our-faculty/rob-gilbert.html)

Dr. Barbara Hamilton-Hinch, Assistant Professor, School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University. (https://www.dal.ca/faculty/health/health-humanperformance/faculty-staff/our-faculty/leisure-studies/barbara-hamilton-hinch.html)

Dr. Susan Hutchinson, Associate Professor, School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University. (https://www.dal.ca/faculty/health/health-humanperformance/faculty-staff/our-faculty/leisure-studies/susan-hutchinson.html)

Dr. Heidi Lauckner, Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, Dalhousie University. (https://www.dal.ca/faculty/health/occupational-therapy/faculty-staff/faculty/heidi-lauckner.html)

Rachele Manett, R4MH Research Assistant and graduate student, School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University.

Dr. Cathy White, Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, Dalhousie University. (https://www.dal.ca/faculty/health/occupational-therapy/faculty-staff/faculty/cathy-white.html)