NSHA, government, psychologists collaborate to enhance support for people affected by the tragedy
The Association of Psychologists of NS (APNS), Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness and Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) are collaborating to increase support to Nova Scotians impacted by the tragic events of April 18 and 19.
A roster of psychologists across Nova Scotia is offering a free service called Psychological Support Session.
People distressed by the tragic events have access to a session to talk about difficulties they define as impacting their mental wellness, and ways of coping. This free-of-charge service starts Wednesday, April 29.
An individual can call 902-422-9183, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday, to arrange a Psychological Support Session appointment with a psychologist within 48 hours.
Although this initial call for service may be a long-distance call for some, it is meant to be brief and will start the process to connect the caller with a psychologist. When calling, people should indicate they have been impacted by the tragedy.
Psychologists will offer their expertise, free of charge, via on-line video conference, or by telephone, due to COVID19 restrictions.
This is an opportunity for those impacted to discuss how the recent tragic events are affecting them, and ways to build on their coping skills. If needed, it will also be an opportunity to talk about how individuals can access further care and support.
The Psychological Support Session service is in collaboration with programs and services available through Nova Scotia Health Authority's Mental Health and Addictions Program.
NSHA teams are available to connect using telephone and video support. For someone whose needs require to be seen in person, an appointment will be arranged, following public health pandemic protocols to keep everyone safe.
The Provincial Mental Health Crisis Line is available 24/7 for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or someone concerned about them. Call (toll-free) 1-888-429-8167.
First Responders Assist for first responders impacted by the tragedy and their families is also accessible by calling 1-888-429-8167.
If individuals would like to self-refer to our Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) Community Mental Health and Addictions clinics, Withdrawal Management Services, or Opioid Replacement and Treatment Program, please call (toll-free) 1-855-922-1122, weekdays 8:30 to 4:30. This line has voicemail only evenings, weekends, and statutory holidays.
Access to supports are also available through NSHA’s online mental health services available at the following link: https://www.nshealth.ca/content/online-mental-health-services
If anyone has mental health or addiction-related concerns or concerned about someone else, please do not hesitate to reach out.
"Psychologists often help people with trauma and distress and we maintain a roster of psychologists who have volunteered to help following any disaster in Nova Scotia. The tragic events on April 18 and 19 have affected a large number of people psychologically. We want to add to the good initiatives of the NSHA in helping people. "
---Dr. Victor Day, APNS Disaster Response Coordinator
“This tragedy is something that has affected all Nova Scotians deeply, but it may affect each person differently. Help is available for people if they need it and there are many options when they are ready to make the call. I want to thank the psychologists who have stepped forward to help those who may be hurting.
---Randy Delorey, Nova Scotia Minister of Health and Wellness
“We are grateful to APNS and its members for offering their support to Nova Scotians in the wake of this tragedy. At NSHA, we welcome the opportunity to join with them to provide individuals with many options for support. We want to reassure Nova Scotians we are all here to help.”
---Sam Hodder, Senior Director, Nova Scotia Health Authority’s Mental Health and Addictions Program
Provincial media line: 1-844-483-3344