About the FOH

What is the Fountain of Health?

The Fountain of Health Initiative (FoH) is a national non-profit promoting brain health and resilience for adults of all ages. The FoH offers practical, easy to use tools based on current scientific evidence to support brain health, wellbeing and resilience (the ability to bounce back under stress). We have tools that can be used by individuals, community groups and health providers. 

Our Mission: The FoH aims to improve mental and physical wellbeing of adults across the lifespan. The FoH tools are designed to help Canadians maximize their health spans and minimize their disease spans so we live with as much wellness as possible, as long as possible!

We also offer community leadership, education and practical resources for clinicians by:

  • Raising public awareness about the science of brain health, and practical steps that promote resilience, emotional wellbeing and health right across the adult lifespan.
  • Developing clinical tools for health professionals to use with patients to promote changes in outlook and health behaviours. See Our People.
  • Providing a Speakers’ Bureau of national experts on topics of resilience, emotional well-being and brain health. See Our People.
  • Contributing to international research through the World Aging and Brain Health Institute, fostering collaborative research in optimal aging and brain health. See Our People.
  • Providing international leadership in Positive Psychiatry through the World Psychiatric Association.

Is the Fountain of Health for You?

The FoH is for everyone-including you! The FoH targets the general public, no matter what age, cultural background or gender identity. For a healthier future, go to the main page to watch the FoH video, and Take the Quiz to find out where you are starting from. Then we invite you to visit the
Make it Your Own! section to jumpstart a personal health goal and try out our Wellness App. The FoH also aims to engage health care providers in evidence-based health promotion. FoH provides practical clinician tools to assist patients to set and meet health goals, for use in the busy office practice. Please visit Our People for more information.

Our History

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. FoH is a pioneer initiative in Canada called “Positive Psychiatry” dedicated to the science and practice of promoting wellbeing across the lifespan. FoH was officially established as a national non-profit organization in 2017. To learn more, see Our People.

Why Nova Scotia?

Nova Scotia is an ideal place to offer leadership in long term health and resilience. Famous for having the highest ocean tides in the world, Nova Scotia also leads Canada's "rising tide" of population aging with the greatest percentage of older Canadians than any other province (20% over 65 years in 2017). Dalhousie University is home to world-class researchers in resilience, geriatrics, psychiatry, psychotherapy and health behavior change. 

Nova Scotia: Highest Tides in the World

The Fountain of Health Initiative has evolved in phases over the past eight years as follows:

Phase 1
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.  

Phase 2
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.

Phase 3
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) FoH Workshop project. The FoH website was revised, an educational video developed, and materials were disseminated and shared nationally and internationally. The Association for Positive Psychiatry of Canada, a FoH partner organization, was founded in 2015 and the Positive Psychiatry Section of the World Psychiatric Association was established. 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.

Phase 4
2017 to 2018

Phase 4 focused on sustainability, funding, and expanding the FoH message across all age groups. With a competitive grant from the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CCABHI) FoH health behaviour change tools were shared with individual patients in frontline care, and through community workshops. A FoH Wellness App to scale sustainability funding and dissemination of lifestyle change tools in individual and workshop formats, as well as sustainability funding, are current priorities.