About Us

Happy father and sonThe Strongest Families Institute programs and modules began as a research program by the Centre for Research in Family Health at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The programs we offer today are the result of a six-year research period to develop effective programming for children and families. The results were overwhelmingly positive:

  • Children treated through Strongest Families improved dramatically compared to children who received typical care.
  • The dropout rate was less than 10 per cent compared to a 40-50 per cent drop-out rate for clinic-based treatment programs.
  • Parents were extremely satisfied with the program.

Our founders Dr. Patrick J. McGrath, Chair of the Board of Directors, and Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie, President & CEO, continue to work with the Institute today and guide an experienced team of professional coaches. Our programs are designed to work with your schedule and eliminate the need to travel, take time off of work/school or interrupt your normal routine. They are delivered with the utmost of discretion and privacy, helping to alleviate any worries about the stigma of receiving mental health services.

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Father and daughter embrace.


Why We Exist

Approximately 15 – 18 per cent of children have mental health problems. The most common of these are Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiance Disorder and Anxiety Disorders.

Less than a third of these children and their families receive the care and treatment they need in a timely manner. There are several reasons for this:

  • A shortage of qualified children’s mental health professionals
  • Clinic wait times of months to years
  • Social stigma of receiving mental health treatment
  • Clinic hours conflict with normal business and school hours
  • Financial factors like travel costs, child care and lost wages due to time off work.

Strongest Families Institute provides a cost effective solution for delivering care by ensuring families receive treatment quickly and efficiently.

If children with mental health problems are not effectively treated in childhood, they may struggle with schoolwork, making friends, interacting with family members, and other aspects of their development.

Receiving effective help early can lead to a healthier and happier future.