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Whether you're experiencing a mental health crisis or you're worried about a loved one's mental health, free help is available to you. In Nova Scotia, Canada, there are 2 helplines that support with a range of mental health or behavioral health concerns.
It’s normal to feel nervous about making the call. Learn here about what to expect.
A helpline – also called a hotline or crisis line – is a free counseling service where you can talk to a person for emotional support. The support offered is free and confidential and in some cases, available 24/7. Depending on the helpline, support may be offered over the phone, text message or online chat.
Helplines provide a judgment-free space for you to talk, unpack your burdens and receive support. Their support may take the form of active listening, help processing emotions, and working with you to determine meaningful next steps.
Helplines are usually staffed by counselors and volunteers who are trained in how to support people in an emotional crisis. Some helplines are also run by peers who have a similar life experience to the topic they provide support with.
Some helplines support with specific issues, such as suicide, depression, anxiety, and abuse. Others support with specific demographics, such as the LGBTQ+ community, veterans or young people. So if you're looking for tailored support, you might be able to find a hotline specific to your problem. There are also helplines that support with any problem that’s causing you distress – no matter how small or big it seems to you.
If you've had thoughts about harming yourself or even ending your life, there are suicide prevention hotlines that can help. These helplines, otherwise known as lifelines or crisis lines, are typically available to offer support 24/7. Most suicide hotlines also support with any topic that is on your mind, which means you don't have to be suicidal to contact them.
Helplines aren't just for the times when you need support. They can also be helpful if you're worried about someone else. When you contact a helpline for advice about someone you care about, they will talk with you about how you might support the person. This might look like support resources that person is able to access, or behaviors or actions you can take to help their situation.
In Nova Scotia, Canada, there are 2 hotlines and helplines that support with a range of topics.
Globally, there are over 2,000 helplines and hotlines, and the support they offer varies across topics and populations. What unites them is their shared aim to support people who are experiencing mental health distress or emotional pain. Helplines are there to assist you in a time of emotional pain, and to support those who may be noticing warning signs of an emotional crisis in those they care about.