Issues related to mental health can leave individuals and families unsure of where to turn. The CAST HUB is a good starting place to find information on local resources and supports. Whether you’re looking for general information on local agencies or resources for Indigenous peoples, military, LGBTQ+, Men, or maternal mental health and more, you can find information on this page.
Keep checking back frequently as CMHA NS Division’s CAST program is updated weekly.
Toolkits, Resources, and Education by Group
In this section you will find information on who and how to contact someone if you are in a crisis. You will also find information for: contact information for organizations, Newcomers to NS, Youth and Young Adults, Peer Support, Mental Health Legislation, and University Supports.
In this section you will find information on mental and physical health for Indigenous peoples across Canada. Information is gathered from Indigenous organizations and researchers and updated regularly. Please keep checking back.
In this section you will find toolkits and handbooks for First Responders and clinicians for helping themselves and others as First responders and as clinical staff in suicide prevention programs.
In this section you will find general information, that is important, but may not fit into the other categories.
This will take you to the CMHA NS Division’s Education and Training page to learn more about the Safe Messaging and the types of training available at this time. This page changes as new programs are added and others sunset, so please keep checking back.
This section contains information for women’s mental health and suicide prevention.
This section contains materials on suicide prevention and postvention in the workplace.
This section contains toolkits, education, and mental health information for youth and young adults. If you are a university student looking for resources please click here.
This section contains toolkits and programs for men’s mental health.
This section contains education materials for Military members.
This section contains a suicide prevention toolkit for seniors over 65. New materials are being added, so please check back regularly.
This section contains evidentiary reports, articles, and links to programs, including e-health.
This section contains links to toolkits and suicide prevention information for LGBTQ+.
This section will direct you to the Maternal Mental Health site. On this site you will find a comprehensive list of programs and resources available to you locally, across Canada and internationally. You will find programs, toolkits, and other resources.
This section contains information on suicide, prevention programs, and links to resources on risks, warning signs, and crisis numbers
This section contains information on programs that develop capacity within communities through improved health care accessibility, by strengthening the knowledge, abilities, skills, and behaviour of individuals, and improving institutional structures.
For more resources available in your area please dial 2-1-1 or contact the CAST Program.
911 Emergency Services
Call in the case of emergency.
Kids Help Phone
Bilingual and anonymous phone counseling and referrals for children and youth.
1.800.668-6868 (Toll Free)
Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team [MHMCT]
Provides crisis support and intervention for children, youth, and adults experiencing an immediate mental health crisis, including thoughts of suicide.
1.888.429.8167 (Toll Free)
211 Nova Scotia
Confidential information and referral service for community and social services available across the province.
Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia [CMHA NS] Division
Dedicated to promoting the mental health of all Nova Scotians through advocacy, education, research and service. Also offers general mental health information and resource referral.To find a branch near you click here or contact us.
Monday – Friday | 830 am – 430 pm
1.877.466.6606 (Toll Free)
Grief & Bereavement
NovaScotia Health Authority- Grief and Bereavement Services:
meet the needs of friends and families of patients admitted to palliative care, if you need help, a listening ear or would like more information please contact:
Dartmouth General Hospital Grief Support Group
Group support for anyone who has lost a loved one in the past year.
Hospice Society of Greater Halifax – Bereavement Support Group
Trained facilitators guide discussion and provide information about loss and grief.
GriefShare – Dartmouth
An ongoing weekly support group for people who are grieving the death of someone close to them.
Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia
The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia can help you by providing information, resources, education and support
Tel: 902-422-7961 or toll free within Nova Scotia 1-800-611-6345
Newcomers to NS
Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
ISANS recognizes the key role of immigrants in Canadian society. They work with newcomers to help them build a future in Canada. ISANS provides a wide range of services to immigrants, from refugee resettlement to professional programs, from family counselling to English in the Workplace.
Monday – Friday | 830am – 430pm
Youth & Young Adults
HRM University Supports
Shifting the culture of how youth and their families transition from paediatric to adult-based mental health services, and supporting collaborative pathways between universities and mental health and addiction services when needed.
For more information, contact Deborah Phillips at email@example.com
To view our new Indigenous Health and Safety page, please click here.
Self Help Connection
A self-help resource center or clearinghouse for hundreds of support/self-help groups in Nova Scotia, including topics such as anxiety, stress, depression, and many others.
Monday – Friday | 800am – 400pm
1.866.765.6639 (Toll Free)
Mental Health Legislation and Legislators
Nova Scotia Mental Health Act
Digital copy of Bill No. 109, cited as the Mental Health Act
Adult Capacity and Decision Making Act
On December 28, 2017, the Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act became law. It replaces the Incompetent Persons Act. This new law is for adults who cannot make some or all decisions for themselves.
Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act
An Act for an individual’s rights during a voluntary and involuntary psychiatric treatment.
Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness(DHW)
DHW works with partners throughout Nova Scotia to develop and implement programs that help Nova Scotians access healthcare services, promote wellness and activity, strengthen healthcare policies and keep people healthy.
Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA)
Nova Scotia Health Authority provides health services to Nova Scotians and some specialized services to Maritimers and Atlantic Canadians. We operate hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province.
College of Physicians and Surgeons NS
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia serves the public by regulating the province’s medical profession in accordance with the Medical Act and its regulations.
We are shifting the culture of how youth and their families transition from paediatric to adult-based mental health services, and supporting collaborative pathways between universities and mental health and addiction services when needed.
Creating Pathways & Overcoming Barriers
- Transition Guidelines
- Youth Readiness
- Health Provider Education
- Family Mentorship
- Landscape Map
- University Student Mental Health Peer Support
- University Liaison Committee
- MH: 101
- AAU Mental Health Working Group
- Transitions Resource
- University Health Education
For more information, contact Deborah Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org
HRM University Supports
If you are attending university in Halifax, find support by calling:
Counselling Services 902-494-2171
Health Services 902-494-2171
Security 902-494-4109 (24/7)
Dal Counselling 902-494-2081
Dal Health 902-494-2171
Dean of Students Office 902-422-1271, ext. 131
Residence Don on-duty 902-422-1271, ext. 132
(ask for Don on duty)
Mount Saint Vincent University
Counselling Services 902-494-8260
SMU Health Services 902-420-5611
Saint Mary’s University
Counselling Centre 902-420-5615
Student Health 902-420-5611
Residence Desk 902-420-5591 (24/7)
Look for Mental Health Peer Support on all campuses
***Contact Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team at 902-429-8167 for urgent intervention
A downloadable version of this document is available here.
Links to resources related to substance use related policies, alcohol, cannabis, opioids, across substances, resources for facilitating dialogue on campus about substance use, sexual violence, residence, learning environments, related frameworks and additional planning resources and engagement tools.
Guides and resources
Knowledge truly is power. Some of the most powerful ways to engage in suicide prevention involve the use of factual information about suicide while having supportive conversations with others. Check out the following links for additional information on Suicide preventions, interventions, and postventions.
Working Together to Prevent Suicide
There are many factors that contribute to suicide that range from the personal to the societal. For this reason, prevention requires complex and multifaceted approaches.
At the CAST Program, we believe that both individual and community action are essential for preventing suicide. By providing the necessary information and training, communities can become safer from suicide.
When community members come together – each with their unique skills and abilities – the results of the group can be far greater than each person’s effort alone.
It’s Time to Start Talking About Suicide
There is a great deal of stigma associated with suicide in our society. The misconceptions and myths surrounding suicide result in people fearing, avoiding, and/or distancing themselves from talking about it.
We know that avoidance is not effective. Despite what many believe, safe and respectful talk about suicide will not increase someone’s risk or ‘plant ideas’ in someone’s head.
Instead, safe and respectful talk creates room for conversation, connection, and an opportunity to reach out and get appropriate help.
Hope, Purpose, Connection – We All Need It
Those who die by suicide (the act of intentionally causing one’s own death) typically have experienced an unbearable amount of pain and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
They may also have felt a lack of connection to their social environment, even if there were caring people around them. Thoughts of suicide grow in the perceived absence of hope and purpose.
Suicide is not a moral weakness or a character defect. Those who have died by suicide were in a place of extreme desperation, often unaware of resources that could help.
If you have lost a loved one to suicide, please know that it is not your fault and support is available. Sometimes, when people experience overwhelming feelings of pain or distress they are unable to see the love and care available around them. For more information, please see Survivors of Suicide.
Complex Contributing Factors
Suicide is a complex issue that is typically influenced by a variety of individual and societal factors. Suicide is rarely caused by a single event or loss in someone’s life.
Factors associated with increased suicide risk include loss, trauma, addiction, financial hardship, mental or physical health issues, depression, anxiety, serious illness, and/or major life changes.
One’s own personal and subjective experience of a situation(s) or stressor(s) is more important than the nature of the event itself. A situation that may not seem like a “big deal” to some, may be an extremely traumatic and challenging experience for those who are at risk.
Suicide spreads across different age, economic, social, and racial backgrounds. Unfortunately, anyone can be at risk. Suicide affects virtually everyone in some way, whether it be individually or through someone we know.
Reaching Out to Others
Those who die by suicide usually tell others in some way about their intentions. A person who dies by suicide without any warning is very rare.
Understanding warning signs and reaching out to others can make all the difference. For more information, please see Risk Factors & Warning Signs.
If you’re unsure whether someone is having thoughts of suicide, the best way to find out is to ask. If you are uncomfortable asking this question, you can connect them with someone who can. For more information, please see What To Do If Someone Is In a Crisis.
If you are worried about how someone will react, keep in mind that people are often relieved to share their thoughts of suicide with another person. Doing so gives them an opportunity to talk about the feelings and experiences that have contributed to their thoughts of suicide.
Click here for:
Heads Up Guys
For Men. About Men. Health Strategies For Managing And Preventing Depression
Headstrong – Taking Things Head-On
Helps with access resources and care for men’s mental health. In participating pharmacies, you will find the knowledge and skills of pharmacists in helping men in their communities who live with any or all of the following: depression, anxiety, insomnia, problems with alcohol and/or tobacco, and thoughts, intentions, and/or behaviours related to suicide. Visit a pharmacy today.
The only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round. Addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.
The Man-Up Against Suicide (MUAS) project
To better understand men’s depression and suicide from the perspective of men who have previously experienced suicidality and the perspectives of men and women who have lost a male to suicide as a means to stimulating community conversations and destigmatizing men’s depression and suicide.
The Men’s Depression and Suicide Network
The Men’s Depression and Suicide Network (MD&S-Net) comprises 5 projects dedicated to developing, implementing, and formally evaluating a suite of innovative men-centred, face-to-face and online technology interventions.
e-health, Journals, Evidence
Suicide Prevention Articles and Report
Focusing on Hope
Suicide Intervention Articles and Reports
Suicide Postvention Articles and Supports
Education and raising awareness about suicide are essential components of the CAST Program suicide prevention model. Whether delivering a speech or presentation, communicating through print, or posting on social media platforms – public communication about suicide requires care and consideration.
For more information, click here.
ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training)
- Griesbach & Associates (2008). The Use and Impact of Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training [ASIST] in Scotland: An Evaluation. The Scottish Government.
- McLean, J. et al. (2007). Evaluation of the Scottish SafeTALK Pilot. Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health.
Listening to One Another(LTOA)
LTOA originates out of a collaboration between First Nations communities in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec and research teams based out of McGill University, the University of Lincoln, Nebraska and the University of Manitoba. It is currently being adapted for Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq in partnership with the Union of Nova Scotia Indians and the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq. Click here for more information.
The package was created as a collaboration between CAST, health professionals, suicide loss survivors, and the Nova Scotia Suicide Postvention Subcommittee.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss
Websites with resources and information
https://pailnetwork.sunnybrook.ca/resources-for-families/(ON PaIL network)
Peer Reviewed Articles on Grief and Perinatal Loss