News release

Toll-Free Line Available for Personal Assistance

Any Nova Scotia residents who have been involved in any aspect of the Swissair Flight 111 tragedy can call toll-free 1-877-806-2895 starting tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 11) at 8 a.m. if they require personal assistance in dealing with the tragedy.

"The 1-877 line is an organized effort to ensure people who don't have easy access to counselling or other services know that there are support services available to them," said Bob St. Laurent, executive director, Integrated Services Delivery Branch, Department of Health.

"Fishermen, hotel, airport and restaurant staff, media, residents of Peggy's Cove, and the surrounding area, and all others who were and continue to be affected by the search and recovery efforts are encouraged to call 1-877-806-2895 for counselling."

The toll-free resource line will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers who want to have the opportunity to speak about their personal involvement in the recent disaster and discuss any of their concerns or anxieties will be referred to the appropriate agency or service in their community.

This is an initiative of the Operations Centre organized by the provincial Departments of Health and Community Services and the Red Cross. The centre was established to respond to the needs of the families of the Swissair passengers and crew, community residents and all those who have played a part in Nova Scotia's response to this tragedy.

"We have and will continue to ensure support for the many residents, caregivers and volunteers who are affected by this recent disaster," said Dr. Jim Smith, Minister of Health.

The Departments of Health, Community Services, Education and Justice are working closely together with the Canadian Red Cross, the Salvation Army, local and regional hospitals, Emergency Measures Organization, Emergency Preparedness Canada, Regional and Community Health Boards, public health and mental health services, Occupational Health and Safety Agency-Health Canada, the Halifax Regional Municipality and many others to ensure a coordinated response to these needs.

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Contact:

Sue McKeage
Department of Health 902-424-3581 902-499-0962 (cellular) E-mail:

jlw Sept. 10, 1998 5 p.m.