News release

More Mental Health, Addictions Support for Youth, Caregivers

Nova Scotia is investing $3.2 million to provide young Nova Scotians and their families easier access to mental health and addictions support.

Brian Comer, Minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health, announced funding today, June 15, for eight new Integrated Youth Services sites that will bring community-based services for youth aged 12 to 25 together under one roof. Supports will range from mental health services, such as counselling and peer support, to social services, such as housing and income assistance.

“When you or your child is dealing with a mental health issue, the last thing you should be worried about is navigating a complicated system to find the right supports,” said Minister Comer. “What these new sites give to people and families is one door to walk through to get connected with the right support at the right time.”

Community, youth and caregiver input in the design and implementation of Integrated Youth Services will be essential for establishing successful programs. Each site will provide the same core services:

  • mental health and substance use supports
  • primary health care
  • education, employment and training supports
  • peer supports for youth and families
  • social and community services
  • other services based on local needs and priorities.

A team from IWK Health’s mental health and addictions program will lead the provincial Integrated Youth Services initiative and will soon begin community engagement across Nova Scotia. The sessions will provide in-depth information on the integrated youth services model and how interested organizations can learn more about the formal procurement process that will be used to determine the location of the eight sites.

Integrated Youth Services has been identified as a solution in Action for Health, the Province’s plan to fix healthcare, and is an important part of the government’s commitment to universal mental healthcare for all Nova Scotians.


Integrated Youth Services is a proven approach that is already making a difference across the country and around the world. It’s so exciting to bring integrated youth services to Nova Scotia youth and families. This wouldn’t be possible without this tremendous financial investment from the provincial government. Daphne Hutt-MacLeod, Director, Integrated Youth Services-Nova Scotia, IWK Health

Quick Facts:

  • the first Integrated Youth Services site will open by March 31, 2024
  • all eight sites – two in each health zone – will be open by March 31, 2027
  • the Integrated Youth Services model of care is a best-practice approach nationally and internationally found in five Canadian provinces, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland

Additional Resources:

Action for Health, the government’s plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia:

Mandate letter of the Minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health:

IWK Health’s overview of Integrated Youth Services: