Providing both emotional and practical support to other females was something Stephanie Atwood dreamed of doing, and now that dream is a reality.
Atwood is founder and executive director of ElevateHER Mental Health Services Canada, an organization whose mission is to provide programming and support, and foster positive social change and independence for those who identify as female, and their families.
“I’ve gone through stuff where I needed extra support that wasn’t there,” she said. “I knew there were more people who needed support, but I’m finding there’s more need than expected. This blew up overnight and the demand is more than we can supply.”
The non-profit society formed about a year ago, and in July moved to Revere Street, sharing space with the Elizabeth Fry Society to create the Truro Program Centre.
ElevateHer currently has four staff members in Truro and one in Shelburne.
One of the things currently being worked on, with help from provincial government funding, is the creation of a sexual harassment virtual reality training program. Youth who attend programs at the centre are involved in the program which, when completed, will be placed on the Engage platform so it will be widely available.
ElevateHER offers Putting Down Roots, a program where young people learn about cooking and food sustainability, and mother-daughter programs. Through a partnership with the Lotus Centre, programs on resiliency boundaries and self-esteem are offered, and life skills courses are run at the Nova Institution.
EmployHER provides clients with a way to earn money. Items they’ve made themselves, such as soaps, jewelry and jams, are sold at markets.
Atwood hopes to be running programs in New Brunswick by the end of 2020.
“I love doing something that’s empowering people and we’re always open to new ideas, partnerships and connections,” she said. “We’d also love to hear from anyone interested in volunteering or becoming a board member.”
More information on ElevateHER can be found online at http://www.elevatehercanada.ca/
Holiday Open House
The Truro Program Centre is inviting people to drop in during a holiday open house on Dec. 4 from 1-4 p.m.
The centre, located at 25 Revere Street, is a collaboration of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia and ElevateHer Mental Health Support Services Canada.
During the open house, visitors will be able to learn about what they do at the centre and enjoy refreshments.