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Mental Health and Addictions
Information for Clients and Families
COVID-19 Temporary Service Disruption
Some services, such as group-based programming, community outreach visits, and non-urgent home visits have been put on hold to limit the spread of COVID-19.
For a complete up-to-date list, please visit: www.nshealth.ca/temporaryclosures
We are still here to help during this time.
One-to-one outpatient services will continue to be offered. We have begun and will continue to transition treatment and therapy to be primarily offered using Telemental Health (i.e. phone or video platform, when available). The exception to this would be when a person’s needs require face-to-face assessment or treatment – this is a joint decision made by the provider and the patient.
If feel you need to speak to a clinician for support, while your outreach, clinic, home visit, or group-based appointment has been put on hold, please contact your clinic.
How to Maintain Wellness
It is important to take care of yourself during this time by continuing with your treatment and being aware of new or worsening symptoms.
Some things we can all do to stay well include:
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about COVID-19 repeatedly can be upsetting.
Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Monitoring Your Mental Health and Addiction Symptoms
In the current situation it may feel as though you are becoming unwell or experiencing an increase in symptoms. This often happens when people experience significant stress. Check in with people who know you well about how you are feeling. Remember to use the skills you have been working on in your treatment.
Understanding and recognizing early signs of illness and knowing how to get help will be important in the days and weeks to come. If you have a Relapse Prevention Plan or Wellness Plan, this can be a helpful tool. Please talk with your clinician about updating or adjusting your plan for the current situation. If you don’t have a Relapse Prevention Plan, talk to your clinician about starting one.
How to get Help
We are here to help you manage your mental health and/or addiction concerns during this time. Please contact your clinic for information on how we can help to continue to support you.
The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll free).
Kids Help Phone is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free).
Self-Isolation and Quarantine
The need to self-isolate or quarantine can be a difficult and scary situation for anyone. If you are asked to self-isolate or quarantine due to possible exposure or infection, some services are still available by phone, or through a secure video conferencing platform, where available.
If you receive in-person care for medication administration or other service and have been asked to self-isolate or quarantine, please notify your clinic as soon as possible to make alternate arrangements for your care.
Some helpful free online resources are listed below, or you can contact your clinic for self-help tools specific to your needs.
o www.anxietycanada.com – Tools and resources to help manage anxiety
o MindShift CBT – Anxiety Canada app, available on Android and iOS
o www.comh.ca/antidepressant-skills/adult – Self- care manual to help with depression
o http://depressionhurts.ca/en/information/resources.aspx – For help with depression
o www.mysleepwell.ca – For help with insomnia
o https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/looking-after-yourself – Self Help resources
o https://www.smartrecovery.org/ – For substance use and gambling concerns
o https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/treatment – Information regarding addiction and substance use.
o www.chrisgermer.com/meditations/ – Downloadable mindfulness mediations
o For alternative support options, please call 211 or visit http://ns.211.ca
o Navigator – Find a Resource Provider at www.ssns.ca
For up to date and accurate information on COVID-19, including how to protect yourself and others, please visit the following trusted sources:
Government of Nova Scotia: http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
Nova Scotia Health Authority: http://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada coronavirus information line: 1-833-784-4397
Health Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus