Read below to access information about local programs and services that are available in Nova Scotia.
Community Supports and Services
Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line (nshealth.ca)
Toll free: 1-888-429-8167 available 24/7
The Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line provides crisis intervention for children, youth and adults experiencing a mental health crisis or mental distress. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to support callers who present with suicidal thoughts, self-harming thoughts or behaviours, overwhelming anxiety, difficulty coping with distress, psychotic or distorted thinking, depression, substance use difficulties, or any other self-identified mental health concerns. Crisis is self-defined by the individual calling for support. The crisis line also supports families, friends, community agencies and others to manage mental health crisis through education, outreach and consultation.
Canada Suicide Prevention Service | Crisis Services Canada
1-833-456-4566 (toll free)
Text 45645 – available 24/7/365 days a year EST (standard text messaging rates apply)
This service is available across Canada via toll-free phone, or text in English. The toll-free phone service is also available in French. This means anyone in Canada that is thinking about, is or has been affected by suicide, can reach out across a variety of media, and feel supported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Anyone can have suicidal thoughts for a number of reasons. CSPS offers a barrier-free, non-judgmental space with supportive and responsive responders. We’re here so anyone thinking about suicide feels comfortable enough to reach out for support.
Kids Help Phone (Website Link)
Call 1-800-668-6868 or Text 686868 to reach a trained volunteer crisis counsellor
Or connect with Kids Help Phone on Facebook Messenger
Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7, national support service. They offer professional counselling, information and referrals, and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people in both English and French. Their service is completely confidential – you don’t even have to give them your name if you don’t want to.
Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions (nshealth.ca)
Intake service: 1-855-922-1122 | (If you are in crisis, please call 9-1-1 or 1-888-429-8167 )
This is available Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., voicemail on evenings, weekends, and holidays. A clinician will help determine what services and supports best meet the client’s needs.
Mental Health and Addictions Tools (nshealth.ca)
A comprehensive resource list of free online resources available through NSHA and other community partners.
IWK Mental Health and Addictions Program (MHA, Website Link)
Intake and navigation services through our Central Referral line: 902-464-4110 | toll-free: 1-855-922-1122
Services for children and youth up to 19 years
Mental Health and Addictions Program (MHA) is one of three clinical programs at the IWK Health Centre. They treat children and youth up until their nineteenth birthday, within a patient and family centered context. Families are essential partners in the treatment of the childhood onset of mental health and addictions issues. For youth between 18 and 19 years of age who continue to require services, they begin a transition plan to adult programs/services which includes enhancing skills for self-care and self-advocacy.
211 Nova Scotia (Website Link)
Call or text 2-1-1 for in-person assistance or search the online 211 database
211 is a 24/7 connection to the programs and services in the community. Their network includes everything from local community groups and non-profits to government departments across Nova Scotia. Services are available in over 150 languages.
Wellness Together Canada (Free, live counselling via phone or text, Website Link)
Phone: 1-866-585-0445 (Adults) |1-888-668-6810 (Youth) | Text: WELLNESS to 741741 (Adults) or 686868 (Youth) | Frontline Workers text: FRONTLINE to 741741
Wellness Together Canada was created in response to an unprecedented rise in mental health and substance use concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with funding from the Government of Canada. Services include: online community of support and coaching, one-to-one counselling, self-guided courses and apps and more.
Caregivers Nova Scotia
Caregivers Nova Scotia provides programs, services, and strong advocacy for caregivers.With ongoing support from our funders, Board of Directors, allied organizations, volunteers, and caregivers themselves, we’re dedicated to providing recognition and practical assistance to friends and family giving care.
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Helpline
Call toll free: 1-855-242-3310 | Online chat: Hope for Wellness Chat
The Hope for Wellness Help Line was established as a specific resource for First Nations and Inuit to provide immediate, culturally competent telephone counselling, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is available in English, French, and upon request in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut. Online chat services are currently available in English and French, with expansion to Indigenous languages currently being explored as this new service launches.
Trans Life Line
Website: https://translifeline.org/ | Call toll free: (877) 330- 6366
Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline and microgrants 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community.
IBPOC (Indigenous, Black & People of Color) Mental Health Support Database firstname.lastname@example.org
A Resource to share information and highlight IBPOC mental health workers and services local to Kjipuktuk/Halifax. About this database: “It is difficult to find adequate and culturally competent mental health support that truly meets the needs of IBPOC people in our current existing system. In response, this database was made to highlight a range of local services, programs and IBPOC mental health workers for IBPOC residents of Kjipuktuk/Halifax. We have been working since August 2019 to crowdsource and compile as much information into this document as possible as part of the CARE Project, in an attempt to create an easily accessible public contact list for who is available to reach out to when we/our loved ones are having a hard time and need healing support. It will be updated regularly as we collect more information, so please do add to it and share to help spread the word!.” (from Bria Miller, Co-Director of Khyber Centre for the Arts)
Pride Health (Website Link)
Tel: 902-487-0470 | Email: prideHealth@nshealth.ca
Pride Health works to improve access to health services in Nova Scotia which are safe, coordinated, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate for people who are two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual (members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community). Offers health resources, navigation and referrals for addictions, mental health and other health services.
Red Cross Friendly Calls (Not a crisis service, Website Link)
Call: 1-833-729-0144 Mon. – Fri. 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. AST to register
Red Cross friendly calls are available to anyone who is feeling isolated or lonely due to COVID-19.
To receive friendly calls Red Cross asks that people register. Red Cross staff and volunteers can often accommodate calls in English and French, as well as languages other than English and French but unfortunately cannot guarantee this. If desired, Red Cross can also provide contacts for other support services in your community.
Good 2 Talk (Website Link)
Call: 1-833-292-3698 | Text: GOOD2TALKNS to 686868
Provides confidential support services for post-secondary students in Ontario and Nova Scotia.
Association of Black Social Workers (Website Link)
Call: 1-855-732-1253 (toll free from anywhere in Nova Scotia) Mon. – Fri. 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (please allow up to 12 hours for a call back) | Email: email@example.com
ABSW is committed to helping members of the Black community through this pandemic. They have developed a ‘toll-free’ number to help people navigate and to get the support they need.
Men’s Help Line (not a crisis line)
24 hour access by calling 211 or Toll-free: 1-855-466-4994
A free, confidential service for adult men (over 18), and individuals who identify as men, who have concerns about their well-being, safety, and/or the safety of others. Men can access a variety of supports and services specific to their needs, including information, navigation, referrals and brief intervention counselling.
National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC)
Toll free for support: 1-866-633-4220 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fri. EST Instant chat available at nedic.ca | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEDIC provides information, resources, referrals and support to Canadians affected by eating disorders through their toll-free helpline and instant chat. Outreach and education programming focuses on the awareness and prevention of eating disorders and is available online across Canada and in-person in the Greater Toronto Area. NEDIC has a non-dieting, client-centred, feminist philosophy. They promote healthy lifestyles, including appropriate, enjoyable exercise and eating. NEDIC recognizes that the determinants of health are varied, and that weight is not an effective gauge of health, so do not endorse dieting or diet centres.
Eating Disorders Nova Scotia (Website Link)
Call: 902-229-8436 | Email: email@example.com
Eating Disorders Nova Scotia offers supports through nutrition counselling, a mentor program, peer supports and friends and families peer support.
The Affordable Therapy Network (Website Link)
Contact through website
The Affordable Therapy Network is an initiative to increase access to affordable therapy and counselling services across Canada.
Therapists listed on the database offer:
Many listed therapists offer sessions at a low-cost rate ranging between $50- $65 to support those experiencing financial difficulty.
SLIDING SCALE FEES
All listed therapists offer sliding scale rates for those who do not require the low-cost rate but cannot access standard therapy fees. These generally range between $70-$120 and varies between individual therapists.
For those who can pay standard rates, you are helping our therapists provide more options to those who otherwise would not be able to access support.
The Unison Benevolent Fund (Website Link)
Call toll free: 1-855-986-4766
The Unison Benevolent Fund offers a toll-free number to connect Canadian music professionals with resources and support for personal and practical issues. This service is free, anonymous, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Before you make the call, please register with Unison on their website. Service is available in English and French.
The Lifeline Canada App
Available for free download on Google Play or Apple Store
The LifeLine App is the national free Suicide Prevention and Awareness App that offers access and guidance to support for those suffering in crisis and those who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved one from suicide. The LifeLine App also provides awareness education and prevention strategies to guide people in crisis all across the Globe.
Togetherall is a safe and anonymous online community where people can share what’s troubling them. The service is free to all youth and young adults aged 16 – 29 in Nova Scotia and allows people to get support, take control and feel better- all in a way that is most comfortable to the individual.
Canadian Mental Health Association – Nova Scotia Division
Toll Free: 1-877-466-6606 (not a crisis line) | If you are in crisis, please call 1-888-429-8167 or 9-1-1
Providing mental health education, resources and community-based supports and services throughout Nova Scotia. CMHA branches in Nova Scotia support the mental health of all Nova Scotians. This is achieved through the provision of community-based supports and services that promote positive mental health-quality of life and prevent mental ill-health related injury and disease.
Post-Partum Support International Helpline (Not A Crisis Line, Website Link)
Call or text 1-800-944-4773 #1 en Espanol, #2 in English | If you are in crisis, please call 1-888-429-8167 or 9-1-1
The PSI Help Line is a toll-free telephone number anyone can call to get basic information, support, and resources. Based in the USA but helpline and support groups are available to Canadians. Messages are returned everyday of the week. You can leave confidential messages anytime and a HelpLine volunteer will get back to you as soon as possible. If you are unavailable when they call you can setup an alternate time. The volunteer will give you information, encouragement, and names of resources near you.
PSI also hosts weekly chats with experts, online postpartum peer support groups, and online meetings on various topics. Specific groups include support for adoptive parents, queer parents, groups for dads, support groups for pregnancy loss and more.
SOAR – Survivors of Abuse Recovering (Website Link)
Phone: 902-679-7337 or call toll free: 1-877-679-SOAR (7627)
A community-based peer support service for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse in West Hants, Kings & Annapolis Counties (Nova Scotia, Canada). They offering peer counselling, support groups and community awareness training.
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419 | To connect with the Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program in Nova Scotia call: 1-866-414-8111
If you are a Residential School Survivor and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Emotional, cultural and professional support services are also available to Survivors and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program. Services can be accessed on an individual, family or group basis.
In recognition of intergenerational impacts of Residential School, family is defined as:
- spouse or partner
- those raised by or in the household of a former Indian Residential School student
- any relation who has experienced effects of intergenerational trauma associated with a family members time at an Indian Residential School.
Indigenous Services Canada verifies eligibility of persons requesting Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program services with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, which holds data on former students who attended those Indian Residential Schools that are part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
Download this list: MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES 2021
Are you in crisis?
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate assistance:
- Contact the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team at 1-902-429-8167 or 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)
- Go to the nearest hospital or
- Call 911
Going to the Emergency Department
Sometimes going to an emergency department is necessary. Because it can be a distressing experience, we want to help you understand what will happen there. The Stay Connected Mental Health Project has outlined the steps below and some friendly reminders to make your visit as easy as possible.
When you arrive at the emergency department you will go through steps of care:
- Triage: A nurse or paramedic will ask you why you are there and take your temperature.
- Registration: Clerical staff will ask questions like where you live, do you have insurance.
- You will then be placed in the queue; the sickest patients are seen first.
- A nurse will also ask you questions about what is wrong.
- An emergency physician will spend more time with you asking questions and examining you. You then may see a specialist if necessary.
- Bring your health card with you (insurance card if from out of country), however, you will not be turned away without it.
- Dress in layers and bring a sweater, it is sometimes cold.
- Bring a book or magazine, sometimes the waits are long.
- Bring some money for the vending machines or food vendors.
- Bring your phone and charger if that is important to you.
- To ensure you get the right care, you may have to speak to several healthcare providers in the department, the staff knows how taxing this can be and appreciate your patience.
- If you are not sure of something, ask.
- The physicians and nurses cannot share your health information without your permission so please be open and tell them everything; it’s the only way they can provide good care.
A downloadable version of this document can be found here.