At a Glance...
How to contact us
Peter Croxall, Director: 464-4147
Maureen Wheller, Communications: 464-3171
General Inquiries: 464-3111
Capital Health’s Mental Health Program, together with the Dalhousie Department of Psychiatry, provides crisis, emergency, inpatient and community mental health support for people living in the Halifax Regional Municipality and West Hants. The majority of services are available to adults; however, some are available to youth. Staff work with clients, families and other providers to offer the best possible services. People access mental health services mainly through Community Mental Health or emergency and crisis services.
There is a wide range of mental health services available - at community locations and in hospitals - for people who have many different mental health needs. The majority of the services and supports are provided at three facilities: the Nova Scotia Hospital, the East Coast Forensic Hospital and the Abbie J. Lane.
Mental health services are grouped into the following service areas:
- Community Mental Health
- Emergency and crisis services (includes the Short Stay Unit)
- Specialty mental health services
- Recovery and reintegration
- Forensic mental health services (includes Offender Health and the Sex Offender Program)
Here is some helpful information about each of our service areas
Community Mental Health
Questions about your care? Contact the Patient Representative
Phone 473-2133 or 1-800-799-0990
In Hants Community: 798-07009.
If you are receiving care through Addiction Services: 424-1794
Community mental health includes teams of mental health professionals based in Halifax, Sackville, Cole Harbour, Dartmouth and Windsor. They offer services to people who are experiencing mental illness such as complex depression, anxiety, complicated adjustment disorders, bipolar illness and schizophrenia. The teams work with others in the community to promote mental health and to reduce the risk and impact of mental illness.
To reach a community mental health team close to you, call any of the teams directly or first visit your family physician. The clinics offer general mental health services for adults. Hants Community also provides child and adolescent mental health services.
Get more information about Community Mental Health clinics and locations.
Find out how to access Community Mental Health Services.
Emergency and Crisis Services
Emergency Psychiatric Assessment (QEII)
In emergency situations, if emergency department staff determines a psychiatric assessment is needed, you will be referred to the Emergency Psychiatric Assessment Service at the QEII Health Sciences Centre emergency department, Summer Street, Halifax. Between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., a psychiatric nurse provides service in collaboration with a psychiatrist and a psychiatric resident. A resident is available on an on-call basis through the night.
This service is available to adults, 19-years-of-age and older.
Mobile Crisis Team
For Crisis Help
For crisis help phone 429-8167
Watch a 2-minute video about the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team.
The Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team (MHMCT) provides crisis support for children, youth and adults experiencing a mental health crisis. It offers telephone crisis service 24/7 anywhere within the Capital Health District and mobile crisis response from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. daily to most communities in HRM. The Team includes mental health professionals and Halifax Regional Police officers who are designated to the service. MHMCT offers confidential and non-judgmental mental health assessment and intervention as well as support and consultation to individuals, family and community members. No issue is too big or too small.
Short Stay Unit
Contact the Abbie J. Lane Short Stay Unit: 473-4771
The Short Stay Unit provides intense support for people experiencing a mental health crisis who would benefit from a short period in hospital. The expected length of stay in the Unit is 72 hours. A multidisciplinary team of nurses, a psychiatrist, social worker and unit clerk, work with individuals to provide intensive, holistic assessment and intervention while emphasizing wellness, empowerment and education.
Individuals meet daily with the team for ongoing assessment and to develop a treatment plan that meets their specific needs. The plan includes information about programs and services that can provide support to individuals in the community. Individuals in the Short Stay Unit are often referred to other Capital Health Mental Health services including the Mental Health Day Treatment Program, Connections Halifax or New Beginnings, or Mobile Crisis Intervention.
The Short Stay Unit is located on the sixth floor of the Abbie J. Lane. People are most often referred through Emergency Psychiatric Assessment Services, located in the QEII Emergency Department.
Acute Care Services
6 Lane Inpatient Unit, Abbie J. Lane Phone: 473-6334 or 473-4268
7 Lane Inpatient Unit, Abbie J. Lane Phone: 473-2488 or 473-2489
Mayflower Unit, the Nova Scotia Hospital Phone: 464-3322 or 473-3323
Acute Care Services provides short-term care and treatment for individuals experiencing sudden and severe symptoms of mental illness. Acute care services are offered in three units. Two units - 6 and Lane - are located at the Abbie J. Lane. The Mayflower Unit is located on the Nova Scotia Hospital site.
Forensic Mental Health Services
East Coast Forensic Hospital (ECFH)
Contact ECFH: 460-7300
Watch a 2-minute story featuring ECFH psychologists Drs Andrew Starzomski and Brad Kelln talking about their role at the hospital.
Watch a 2-minute story about the hospital's music and film groups.
The Capital District Mental Health Program provides a number of mental health services to people who have had contact with the judicial system. Services include psychiatric assessment, treatment, rehabilitation programs, transition program and community- based support. People who are charged with an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada and whose mental health is in doubt may be sent by the court to the East Coast Forensic Hospital for a psychiatric assessment. The findings of the assessment, in addition to other resources, are used to determine if the individual is a) not criminally responsible, b) not criminally responsible and/or unfit, or c) criminally responsible. If a person is found to be not criminally responsible and/or unfit to stand trial, he/she will be admitted to the East Coast Forensic Hospital.
Offender Health Services Program and the Provincial Sex Offender Program
The ECFH is unique within Capital Health in that the people it serves come strictly from the judicial system. There are two rehabilitation units with 30 beds each and a 24-bed Mentally Ill Offender Unit where court ordered assessments are performed and treatment is provided to offenders diagnosed with mental illness.
The ECFH also manages the Provincial Sex Offender Program and provides primary health care to the province’s corrections population through the Offender Health Services Program. More information about offender programs can be found here.
Specialty Mental Health Services
Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Program
The Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Program (NSEPP) supports people between the ages of 15-35 who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis and their families. The program promotes early detection and provides quick and accessible assessment and treatment. It focuses on clinical services, education, research and advocacy.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org On the web: earlypsychosis.medicine.dal.ca
Seniors Services (community and day program)
While many of the mental health needs of seniors can be met by family physicians, Mental Health Seniors Services supports people 65 years of age and older who are living with mental illness and physical challenges or disabilities. It also supports individuals with dementia who live with behavourial difficulties associated with mental illness. The service provides community-based assessment and time- limited treatment and follow-up to seniors in their homes (private home or long-term care facility). It also provides a day program for seniors living with depression, anxiety, loss, grief and other similar difficulties.
Seniors Services – Inpatient care
Acute inpatient treatment is an option when seniors’ mental health needs cannot be met through the community or day treatment program. The team of health care professionals, on Willow Hall at the Nova Scotia Hospital, provide assessment and a range of treatment options for people 65 years of age and older living with mental illness and physical conditions. They also support people living with dementia and behavioural difficulties associated with mental illness. The team works with individuals, families, family doctors and long- term care facilities.
Mental Health Day Treatment Program
Watch two 2-minute stories about the program here and here.
Phone: 473-2500 or 473-2503
The Day Treatment Program is an intensive, six-week group therapy program for adults living with mental illness. Group sessions include stress and anger management, assertiveness training, goal setting, feelings, skills for change, recreation/physical activity, relaxation and leisure lifestyles. The program’s objectives are to support people to reduce symptoms, develop coping strategies, improve communication skills, better handle interpersonal relationships, change dysfunctional thinking and improve overall functioning.
Eating Disorders Clinic
The Eating Disorders Clinic helps people overcome anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The clinic offers a variety of treatment options through a series of groups that address concerns associated with eating disorders, including self-esteem and relationship issues.
Get more information about eating disorders.
Centre for Emotions & Health
Many physical ailments and complaints may be linked to mental more so than physical causes. The Centre for Emotions and Health focuses on the role of emotions and psychiatric disorders in physical health and illness.
On the web: www.istdp.ca
Chronobiology & Sleep Disorders Program
The Sleep Disorders Program assesses and treats sleep disorders in adults. People supported through the Sleep Disorders Program live with disorders including insomnia, restless leg syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing.
On the web: SleepDisordersProgram
Mood Disorders Program
Often collaborating with family physicians, the Mood Disorders Program provides consultation, assessment, group therapy and follow up for people living with mood disorders, especially bipolar disorder. The program also provides services for people at high risk of developing a mood disorder as a result of family history, and focuses on mood disorder research and education.
Emerald Hall – Inpatient component of the Dual Diagnosis Program
Watch a 2-minute story about Emerald Hall.
Emerald Hall supports adults living with a mental illness and developmental disability who are not able to live in the community either because of a lack of available resources or a need for intense support that is only available in hospital. Many of Emerald Hall’s current clients are long-term residents. As such its occupancy is almost always 100 per cent. However, crisis admission is sometimes available to registered clients.
Community Outreach Assessment and Support Team (COAST)
Phone: 464-3032 or 464-3048
COAST is the community-based component of the Dual Diagnosis Program (services for people living with mental illness and developmental disability). COAST provides services for people living in the community with mental illness and developmental disability. Their services include assessment, follow-up, crisis assessment and admission to hospital for acute treatment and stabilization. They also provide ongoing evaluation of individual care plans, nutrition counselling, support and information for families and care providers, and consultation with family physicians and other primary health care providers.
Reproductive Mental Health Services
Offered by the IWK Health Centre, Reproductive Mental Health Services supports women with mental health concerns that affect them during reproductive care, e.g., when pregnant, after birth, miscarriage or other traumatic event, including assault.
Recovery and Integration
The Recovery and Integration Portfolio represents a new way of delivering services within Capital Health's Mental Health Program. Individuals living with mental illness, family members, front line staff, physicians, health services managers, community partners and others are working together to ensure we provide quality care and treatment. They are guided by the following vision statements:
- Individuals have unlimited potential
- Recovery means different things to different people
- We encourage individuals to take control of their own wellness
- Family and friends are a wealth of knowledge and support
- Communities have untapped resources
- Each person deserves respect, dignity and understanding
Maritime Hall Inpatient Unit Phone: 464-3022 or 464-3023
Coral Hall Inpatient Unit Phone: 464-3318 or 464-3319
Laurel Hall Inpatient Unit Phone: 464-3335 or 464-3336
Three inpatient rehabilitation units, located on the Nova Scotia Hospital site, provide an intensive rehabilitation program for individuals with serious mental illness. Maritime Hall and Coral Hall units are located in the Mount Hope building. Laurel Hall is located in the Purdy building. The program utilizes the Recovery Principles in assisting clients to identify goals in the areas of living, working, education, self-care, social, leisure and treatment. Individuals have the opportunity to work with a team to assist them in developing an effective treatment and comprehensive discharge plan. The main goal of the program is to assist individuals to develop the skills they need to live successful and meaningful lives in the community.
Watch two 2-minute videos about Connections Halifax here and here.
Connections Halifax provides employment services, community outreach and housing, supported education and healthy lifestyles programs for adults living with long-standing mental illness. It is founded on the realization that recovery from mental illness must involve the whole person in a vibrant and culturally sensitive community. Connections Halifax offers respect, hope, and unlimited opportunity that opens the door to all the richness that the community has to offer, along with all the rights and responsibilities of active citizenship.
email: email@example.com On the web: www.connectionsclubhouse.com
New Beginnings Dartmouth
Watch a 2-minute story about New Beginnings Dartmouth.
New Beginnings is a place where people living with mental illness can be involved in work, social, recreation and community activities. Volunteer members of New Beginnings work together with staff. New Beginnings supports people living with mental illness to regain self-worth, purpose and confidence.
On the web: New Beginnings Dartmouth
Supportive Community Outreach Team (SCOT)
The teams provide service to individuals living in the community with a severe and persistent mental illness or concurrent mental illness and substance misuse. In most instances, mental illness or substance misuse has had a major impact on aspects of clients’ lives, such as housing, employment, social supports, finances, daily living skills. The Principles of Psychosocial Rehabilitation guide the teams’ work. These principles emphasize hope, recovery, empowerment, and effective rehabilitation.
Community Living Initiative: The Bungalows
Capital Health's Mental Health Program is reviewing and reorganizing how it delivers services to people in hospital, and support in the community. They are building upon, and improving, how they provide recovery and community integration services, especially around 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a week services. A vital part of this is the Community Living Initiative Units, more commonly known as the Bungalows, being built on the Nova Scotia Hospital Site. Individuals living with mental illness, families, front-line staff and community support groups are all playing an important role in ensuring the Bungalows are one way CDHA delivers effective services and programs, while using resources effectively.
Get more information about The Bungalows