NSHA launches support for First Responders


Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is launching a new service called First Responders Assist.

This service will offer short-term counselling and supportive services, including follow up if needed, for first responders and their families impacted by the tragedies of April 18 and 19 in Colchester County and the Municipality of East Hants.

NSHA’s Mental Health and Addictions Program and Nova Scotia Operational Stress Injury Clinic (OSI) have collaborated to provide this joint response OSI is a term used to describe any persistent psychological difficulty resulting from operational or service-related duties.

First Responders Assist can be accessed by calling toll-free 1-888-429-8167 and this line is staffed by mental health professionals 24/7.

When calling, first responders and their family members should indicate they have been impacted by the tragedy. The mental healthcare provider will provide immediate assistance and connect the first responder or their family member with counselling and supportive services, including follow up treatment if needed.

NSHA’s mental health team is here 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.

Mental Health and Addictions supports are available for people and families. 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.

If you would like to self-refer to our Community Mental Health and Addictions clinics, Withdrawal Management Services, or Opioid Replacement and Treatment Program, 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 online mental health services.

If anyone has mental health or addiction related concerns or concerned about someone else, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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