Around 3% of the general Canadian population will deal with seasonal affective disorder, also known as seasonal depression. Another 20% will deal with some form of mental illness in their lifetime, however, everyone deals with mental health in one way or another. Needless to say, the winter months can be a tough time for Canadians. As a result, all can benefit from counseling and talking to someone no matter how minor an issue may seem.
Even though everyone struggles with their mental health from time to time, many don’t have access to the aid and resources that they need, which may cause many issues to become much more serious than they would otherwise have been. While the monopoly on healthcare and the increasing price of therapy and medication is a topic for another day, a new pilot program which started February 22, 2023 called “Access Wellness” aims to provide Nova Scotians with one-time free access to counseling services. This session can be used for any concern, ranging from drug abuse to general issues and advice.
Access Wellness is a part of a larger organization to aid in making mental health services more available for all, working alongside the provincial Peer Support Phone Service and other online mental health services.
Access Wellness is available to all Nova Scotians above the age of 18, regardless of if they have private healthcare insurance or not. Sessions are available online, over the phone, or in person in Sydney, Halifax, Kentville, and New Glascow. They’re available for private, couples, or family counseling. The sessions can be held during the day, evening, or on weekends, however, specific times may vary by location. While not meant to replace ongoing therapy, these sessions can be incredibly beneficial to all who may need it. To quote Dana Pulsiver, the senior director for the Mental Health and Addictions Program, “This new service will give people a way to get the right care when they need it.”
For more information and to book a session, visit the Access Wellness website here or call 1-833-691-2282. While it is not a perfect solution to the lack of available mental health resources in Nova Scotia, it is a step in the right direction and a very helpful tool for those who may need it, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
You’re never alone in your struggles and there will always be people to help you with whatever you’re dealing with. Take advantage of this program and whatever resources are available to you.