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.