March 1, 2024

GreenShield supports Dalhousie Centre for Psychological Health to deliver mental health and addictions services

GreenShield supports Dalhousie Centre for Psychological Health to deliver mental health and addictions services

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Friday, March 1, 2024 - Approximately 40% of Atlantic Canadians have been managing a mental health concern within the past year. Of those surveyed, 57% say they would access mental health care through community organizations if the programming were free. Timely and affordable healthcare reflective of the distinct and diverse needs of Canadians is critical to those living with a mental health issue.  GreenShield’s $200,000 gift to the Dalhousie Centre for Psychological Health will help Nova Scotians in need of care and enable the Centre to strengthen the culturally appropriate care available to their clients.  

The funding will provide training to the clinic’s staff and students on how to better work with diverse clients, including refugees, newcomers to Canada, and members of Indigenous and African Nova Scotian communities, through workshops and training programs delivered by outside experts.  

“As our country grows and diversifies, it is important that the care we deliver as clinical psychologists is appropriate for the communities we serve,” says Dr. Alissa Pencer, the Centre’s co-director along with Dr. Shannon Johnson and senior instructor and field placement coordinator for the clinical psychology PhD program. “We know that diverse clients often face barriers to receiving culturally appropriate care. To better inform our staff and students, it is necessary to consult with practitioners with areas of expertise beyond our team of psychologists. We are grateful to GreenShield for their support and know that it will help shape the next generation of clinical psychologists we train as part of our program.”

As Canada’s only national non-profit health and benefits provider, GreenShield reinvests its earnings and redeploys its health services to support underserved and equity-seeking communities. GreenShield Cares exists to advance the organization’s social mission of better health for all. Since 2018, as part of its plan to invest $75M in social impact programs that make it easier for Canadians to live their healthiest lives, GreenShield Cares has funded over $18.5M in mental health initiatives, providing complimentary mental health support to nearly 200,000 people from equity-seeking groups.

A notable example of GreenShield’s local impact is through internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT). Developed in Halifax, Dr. Pencer, uses a digital platform to help people take control of their mental health.  
“We’re proud to support Dalhousie’s Centre for Psychological Health to enable the customization and expansion of programs and services for equity-seeking communities,” says J.P. Girard, Executive Vice President & Head of GreenShield Insurance. “In our pursuit of Better Health for All, we join forces with partners like Dalhousie that understand the distinct and diverse needs of our communities. Together, we’re one step closer to building a future where every Canadian can thrive.”

As a proudly Canadian company, GreenShield champions better health for all Canadians, regardless of background or circumstance. GreenShield is deepening its impact and expanding access to health services through partnerships with Dalhousie University and supporting the Dalhousie Centre for Psychological Health.


About Dalhousie Centre for Psychological Health

The Dalhousie Centre for Psychological Health formally opened in September 2023. The provincial government committed $4.5 million over three years in operational funding for the Centre. Additional funding, such as this commitment from GreenShield Cares, allows for supplemental academic and clinical opportunities for trainees.

Each year, 30 to 40 students from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience’s clinical psychology PhD program will rotate through the clinic as part of the over 1,000 hours of clinical training students need to graduate.

Read more: Dal and Nova Scotia launch Centre for Psychological Health for vulnerable populations

About GreenShield

GreenShield is an integrated health and benefits organization and the first organization in Canada to operate as a payer-provider — offering insurance, administering benefits, and paying claims as a 'payer' while offering health services such as mental health, pharmacy, and telemedicine services as a 'provider.' Integrating both sides of the payer-provider equation enables GreenShield to simplify access to care, remove administrative barriers, and improve health outcomes for its customers.  
GreenShield is uniquely structured as a non-profit social enterprise that reinvests its earnings and redeploys its services to support equity-seeking Canadian communities via its social impact brand, GreenShield Cares. The company's overarching goal is to generate $75 million of social impact investments to improve the lives of at least 1 million Canadians by 2025, focusing on mental health, oral health, and essential medicines.  

As the industry's noble challenger, GreenShield continues to innovate, evolving its offerings and services to deepen its purpose of championing better health for all.

Media contacts

If you would like to arrange an interview with Dr. Pencer to talk about the work of the Dalhousie Centre for Psychological Health and the support of GreenShield, she can be contacted at  

You can also reach out to Madeline Salerno at GreenShield at