Province investing in local mental health program

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New money for phone program

AMHESRT  – Children with behaviour or anxiety problems, and their families, now have access to more support.

The province is investing $350,000 annually to expand the Strongest Families program across the province. The 12-week, phone-based treatment program gives Nova Scotians access to trained coaches who will provide the tools, skills and support families need to manage their children's mental health issues.

"No family should feel alone when they are trying to help a child dealing with behaviour or anxiety problems," Minister of Health and Wellness David Wilson said. "By addressing these problems early, we can head off potential difficulties down the road."

Coaches work with parents and children over the phone at convenient times for the family. They provide encouragement and advice to help the families work through issues and apply the new skills they learn in their daily lives. Families also receive handbooks and skill-demonstration videos, and work through the step-by-step modules at home.

The service is currently available through mental health programs at the IWK, Cape Breton District Health Authority and Cumberland District Health Authority. Families in need of support will now have access to it no matter where they live as part of Nova Scotia's mental health and addictions strategy, Together We Can.

In October, Strongest Families won the Social Innovation award from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, recognizing the program for delivering important economic and social benefits for children and families dealing with mental health problems.


Organizations: IWK, Cape Breton District Health Authority, Cumberland District Health Authority Mental Health Commission of Canada

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Concerned
    December 04, 2012 - 09:11

    Children with behaviour or anxiety problems need a lot of support right from the beginnng and no run around. They need to feel normal and not labeled as the bad child and that is what happens today in our world. Good luck, I've seen what the system and the world around them can do to them and it's not fair

  • Haley
    December 04, 2012 - 02:28

    GEE!!! sure wish someone had of thought of that 18 years ago. It took over a year for mental health to call me back, regarding my son. I had forgotten i had called by that time. It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about. I felt like telling them that he was dead.....thanks for all your help. There's about 666 for a phone call number. Sure seems like the little darlings are possessed at times. I pray this helps the problem, and parents don't have to go through the same thing I did.