Nova Scotia Launches Provincewide Mental Health and Addictions Peer Support Line
Nova Scotians dealing with mental health and substance use concerns will soon be able to call a toll-free line to talk to people who have overcome similar challenges.
Beginning Wednesday, October 12, Nova Scotians with mild mental health or substance use concerns can call the provincial peer support line toll-free at 1-800-307-1686. Callers will speak directly with someone who can relate to their experience and is there to listen.
“Peer support plays a critical role in helping Nova Scotians overcome addiction and mental health challenges,” said Brian Comer, Minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health. “This line offers a safe space for Nova Scotians who are struggling. Being able to connect with someone who has been where you are and who can relate with empathy can really build confidence and hope.”
Trained peer supporters will provide social and emotional support, reassurance, and encouragement to people who are feeling isolated, alone or anxious. Peer supporters can also provide information about more formal services and supports that might help.
The peer support line will be open Wednesday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. In most cases, people can speak with somebody the same or next day.
Mental Health Innovations has been contracted to deliver the service. For more information about the peer support line, visit: https://www.supportyourpeople.com/peer-support-phone-service
Nova Scotia Health’s mental health and addictions program continues to foster a strong partnership with Mental Health Innovations. We recognize the value of peer support in providing holistic, person-centred and recovery-oriented support for Nova Scotians. We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with the development of the peer support line, which will help to strengthen the broader mental health and addictions system of care across Nova Scotia.
Dana Pulsifer, Senior Director of Mental Health and Addictions, Nova Scotia Health
My own experience is what made me interested in providing peer support. Using my experiences to help others is fulfilling and healing and gives me purpose. There are many people who need somebody to listen to them. Struggling with mental health can be a lonely experience and, often, getting help can feel like a daunting task. It can be so encouraging to know that you can just dial a number and that someone is there to listen.
Tyler Simmonds, peer support worker
Recovery can be lonely, and sometimes just having a listening ear makes all the difference. I want folks to know recovery is possible, and we can be a stepping stone on their recovery journey. This service is unique because of the reach it’s going to have. It makes talking to a peer supporter accessible to people who may not have that opportunity otherwise. Anyone can call us and know we will be there to listen.
Jessica, peer support worker
I know I speak on behalf of the entire team here at Mental Health Innovations when I say that it is a true honour to collaborate with the Province and with Nova Scotia Health to launch this progressive service for Nova Scotians. It is through this type of collaboration that we can make giant leaps forward to improve the way people are supported as they experience the hardship of addictions and mental health challenges. Leveraging the power of human connection through peer support, now an evidence-based approach to mental health care, has never been more important.
Stéphane Grenier, CEO, Mental Health Innovations
- the peer support line is a confidential phone service for people 18 and older who are dealing with mental health and substance use issues
- Nova Scotians under the age of 18 should continue to reach out to the Kids Help phone at 1-800-668-6868, Text CONNECT to 686868, or visit https://kidshelpphone.ca
- anyone who is experiencing a mental health or addiction emergency should call the provincial mental health and addictions crisis line at 1-888-429-8167 or 911
- people looking for help with a mental health or addiction concern can also call the mental health intake line at 1-855-922-1122; people do not have to be referred by a doctor or counsellor
Mandate letter of the Minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health: https://novascotia.ca/exec_council/letters-2021/ministerial-mandate-letter-2021-CNS-AMH-Youth.pdf
Action for Health, the government’s strategic plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia: https://novascotia.ca/actionforhealth/
Nova Scotia Health’s mental health and addictions program: https://mha.nshealth.ca/en