Access to Mental Health Services now Available Provincewide

Health and Wellness

February 26, 2013 10:08 AM

All Nova Scotians with mental health concerns now have 24/7 access to mental health crisis intervention, with the expansion of the Mental Health Crisis Line.

"As a former paramedic, I have seen the devastating effects of untreated mental illness," said David Wilson, Minister of Health and Wellness. "During the creation of our mental health and addictions strategy, we heard from people in rural areas across the province that they needed more access to mental health services. That is why we have expanded the Mental Health Crisis Line across Nova Scotia."

The need became clear during consultations to develop Nova Scotia's first mental health and addictions strategy, Together We Can. Last May, the province released the strategy, with mental health services as a key commitment.

The Mental Health Crisis Line is now available to all Nova Scotians by calling 1-888-429-8167.

The crisis line is staffed by licensed clinicians, with a background in social work, nursing or occupational therapy. The clinicians will triage and assess each call for imminent risk and safety, and will help the caller cope with their issue.

"Establishing a provincial crisis line is another important piece that will help link those in crisis with the network of resources and providers available to help them," said Mr. Wilson.

The province has contributed $190,000 to expand the crisis line, which launched today, Feb. 26, in Truro.

"We've seen the benefits of having a crisis response team in our district for the past number of years," says Peter MacKinnon, CEO of the Colchester East Hants Health Authority.

Geoff Alcock, a Truro member of the Consumer, Family, Community Working group for the mental health and addictions strategy, welcomed the new line.

"Through my work as a patients' rights advisor and peer support specialist, I know that the more supports we have for people living with mental illness and family members, the better," said Mr. Alcock. "People in the province living with mental illness will now be better served, and better supported with the expansion of the Mental Health Crisis Line."


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     All Nova Scotians with mental health concerns now have 24-7

access to mental health crisis intervention, with the expansion

of the Mental Health Crisis Line.

     Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson says as a former

paramedic, he has seen the devastating effects of untreated

mental illness. He says there are times when people living with

mental illness are facing a crisis and need an immediate

connection with someone who can help.

     The province has contributed one-hundred and ninety-

thousand-dollars to expand the crisis line.

     It is available by calling 1-888-429-8167, 24 hours a day,

seven days a week.

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Media Contact: Patricia Jreige
              Health and Wellness
              902-424-2727
              E-mail: patricia.jreige@gov.ns.ca