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The Island Community Justice Society (ICJS) recently received a $19,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund.

The money will be used to support the delivery of the Department of Justice’s restorative justice programming for both youth and adults in conflict with the law.

The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund supports organizations that are working to create positive change to improve access to mental health care, supports and services for more Canadians in communities around the country.

The grant will allow the organization to not only train staff as Mental Health First Aid facilitators but also provide mental health first aid training to the society’s volunteers and local organizations throughout Cape Breton Island.

“The Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program was created in 1999 and over the years we have noticed that the lack of access to mental health supports can be both a root cause and a side effect of crime,” said Heather McNeil, Executive Director of Island Community Justice Society.

“The grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund will support training our staff and volunteers on how to identify the signs and symptoms of declining mental well-being or a mental health crisis for both their clients and themselves, will help deepen understanding, reduce compassion fatigue and help us do our work in a more effective way.”

ICJS receives referrals from police, crown attorneys, and courts throughout Cape Breton Island, with offices in Sydney and Port Hawkesbury, and has worked with people in conflict with the law since its early days as a youth diversion program when it was known as Island Alternative Measures.

Bell Let’s Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit


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