The Fountain of Health™ is a national non-profit initiative started at Dalhousie University Department of Psychiatry in 2011. It is dedicated to sharing the science of brain health and resilience and to translating that knowledge into practical action. We provide paper and app-based tools for clinicians to use in frontline care to invite and support health behavior change in 5 key health areas known to support long-term well-being. All our clinical resources are free and available for use from the website. We offer Optimal Aging Workshops to optimize brain health and wellness in communities across the country, and we provide Continuing Medical Education for clinicians. We are involved in ongoing quality assurance evaluation to ensure our tools are useful across multiple health care settings and for diverse populations.
Watch our video on the Fountain of Health™ 5 Key Domains by Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy for more information:
The Fountain of Health™ was founded in 2010 by Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Academic Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Program at Dalhousie University in the Nova Scotia Health Authority. The Fountain of Health™ is a pioneer initiative in Canada called “Positive Psychiatry” dedicated to the science and practice of promoting wellbeing across the lifespan. The Fountain of Health™ was established as a national non-profit organization in 2017. The Fountain of Health™ materials were disseminated to over 2000 clinicians in 2019. To learn more, click here.
The Fountain of Health™ initiative has evolved in phases over the past eight years as follows:
2010 to 2012
Initiated by Geriatric Psychiatry Department at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and funded by the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, Phase 1 was focused on older adults, thirteen different provincial organizations serving seniors were brought together on the topic of seniors mental health promotion. The organization agreed to collaborate together with the goal of increasing public awareness about the new science of brain and optimal aging.
2013 to 2014
Lead by Caregivers of Nova Scotia and Geriatric Psychiatry at Dalhousie, and funded by Department of Health and Wellness and the Department of Seniors, academic, non-profit and government organizations worked together to develop five, evidence-based mental health related messages on brain health and optimal aging, vetted by advisory board of older adults and shared by webpage. In 2014 national collaborators joined the effort including the Mental Health Core Working Group and Advisory Board and our first clinician educational material were developed.
2015 to 2016
The focus in Phase 3 was national and international expansion. With funding from the Department of Seniors and a New Horizons grant, two pilot projects were implemented: 1) Family Physician engagement project and 2) Workshop project. The website was revised, an educational video developed, and materials were disseminated and shared nationally and internationally. Positive Psychiatry Section of the World Psychiatric Association and a National Leadership Team was established - see Our People. The World Aging and Brain Health Institute was founded to synergize research in FoH topics, hosting the first International Think Tank on Optimal Aging. The FoH was highlighted as a keynote address at the 2016 25th anniversary Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry Annual Scientific Meeting, and at the 2017 Canadian Conference on Dementia.
2017 to 2018
Phase 4 focused on sustainability, funding, and expanding the Fountain of HealthTM message across all age groups and the development of The Wellness App. With two competitive grants from the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CCABHI) and one from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, our behaviour change tools and The Wellness App are being shared in frontline care across Canada. Dissemination of lifestyle change tools in individual and workshop formats, and sustainability funding, are current priorities.