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Mondays : 1-5 pm

Tuesdays : 1-5 pm

Wednesdays : 1-5 pm

Thursdays : 1-5 pm

1-833-927-6546

(toll free)

*** The Nova Scotia Warm Line is a project of the Shelburne County Mental Health & Wellness Association, and serves ALL OF NOVA SCOTIA.  Anyone in Nova Scotia is welcome to call us and/or take part in the additional services we offer.  ***

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What IS a Warm Line?

A warm line is an alternative to a crisis line that is run by “peers,” generally those who have had their own experiences of trauma that they are willing to speak of and acknowledge. {https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/06/warm-line-expect-call-one/}

Most warm line operators have been through extreme challenges themselves and are there primarily to listen.  {ibid}

 

Peer operators are trained to attentively and empathetically listen to anonymous callers, offer compassion and validation, and assist callers in connecting with their own internal resources, strengths, and direction.  …  When callers present problems, they are encouraged to facilitate their own  exploration of the associated issues and concerns.  Operators tend to refrain from offering direct advice, but rather engage callers as their peers. 

{http://www.gmhcn.org/files/Articles/WarmLinesPeersHelpingPeers.html}

 

Some just want to talk about their day, while others are having suicidal thoughts and need someone to listen to them.  Others are just looking for information about an agency that can help them.  {https://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Mental-health-warm-line-offers-reassurance-5945704.php}

Additional Services

WHY a Warm Line?

For every person who calls, there are 100 that considered it!  {from presentation by Asha Croggen}

 

A warm line has the purpose of reducing hospitalization and forced treatment, being a cost effective and non-intrusive, voluntary intervention. {https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/06/warm-line-expect-call-one/}

Unlike the mental health hotlines, designed to help in the darkest moments of despair, the warm line aims to provide a reassuring voice for people before they reach a point of crisis.  {http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Mental-health-warm-line-offers-reassurance-5945704.php}

“Our goal is to talk through problems before they become a crisis situation, thereby eliminating the need for hospitalization,” said Amy Dwyer, the warm line coordinator.  “If you let things build and build, they become overwhelming.”  {http://archive.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/02/05/noncrisis_line_lends_a_wise_sympathetic_ear_for_troubled_callers/}

 

Warm line callers reported a reduction in the use of crisis services and a reduction of feelings of isolation. {https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21768081}

 

The Nova Scotia Need

The challenge for the system, and for patients, is that while many people get good care and are able to function much as before, resources are stretched and waiting times can become longer and longer, especially in areas away from the regional centre of Halifax.

 

“So I waited in acute crisis for a year, when I was supposed to be getting that call within two weeks.”  … official numbers published by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness show wait times of that length are not uncommon for adult community-based mental health services.

 

Of the 169 psychiatrists listed as practicing in Nova Scotia by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, 113, or two-thirds, list their practice location within Halifax Regional Municipality. 

 

Province-wide in Nova Scotia, about four of five people who come to a hospital emergency department with a mental health complaint are seen and then sent home, sometimes with a referral to community-based services.  {all from https://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/the-quiet-crisis-of-mental-health-care-in-nova-scotia/Content?oid=7355675}

What Can I Expect When I Call?

  • A trained peer-support volunteer will answer - someone who has been screened and interviewed, and specifically trained to listen.  

  • They will refrain from offering advice, but will listen with empathy, while helping you to identify the helps, supports, strengths and resources you already have at your disposal.  

  • They will also be able to provide contact information for mental health supports around Nova Scotia.  

  • A Warm Line is NOT A CRISIS LINE.  (The goal is intervention and support prior to reaching a point of crisis, or during the period of building resiliency afterward).  If you call and are in crisis, the volunteer will call an appropriate crisis line - other than actually dialing the number, you will be able to hear everything as the transfer is made - and your call will be transferred so that you are able to receive adequate intervention.  

  • Expect your call to last no more than 20-30 minutes, generally.  

  • It is a toll-free number, which means you will not incur any phone charges of your own for calling.  

  • All calls are confidential. 

OTHER SERVICES OFFERED BY THE NS WARM LINE:

  • We offer a senior-safety call-out program for all of Nova Scotia!  You can be referred to us by your local Senior Safety Coordinator, a family member, a friend, or you can even self-refer.  If you, or some senior that you know, are lonely and/or isolated, then we want to be an important regular part of your week.  

    • To refer yourself or someone you care about, simply reach out to our Coordinator, Tamara, at scwarmlinecoordinator@gmail.com, or call the NS Warm Line (833-927-6546) and leave a message for her there.  You can also message us on Facebook
    • What will happen is that our Coordinator will speak with the person who referred you to us, and then speak to you directly.  After having a nice, informal conversation, you will determine together whether or not our service is a good fit for you.   
    • If it is, then we will schedule a regular day to make phone calls to you (during our open hours of Mondays-Thursdays, from 1-5pm).  ​One of our volunteers (who come from all over Nova Scotia) will call and have a friendly chat with you to just talk about whatever you want.  Whether you feel you need mental health supports, or want help finding local or Provincial resources, or simply want to tell us what you're going to have for supper - we go at your pace!  Our main goal is to help reduce your isolation and/or loneliness.  (And just so you know, our volunteers get at least as much out of these conversations as you will!).  

  • And we can also be part of your self-care plan (whether it is one you have made with a mental health professional, or is one you created on your own for your own sake). 

    • ​​You can plan to call the NS Warm Line at a regular day/time to speak with one of our trained Peer Support workers about your ongoing mental well-being.  ​You are completely in charge of when/if you call, and what you want to talk about.  

      • If this is a service you want to take advantage of, then simply call the NS Warm Line (833-927-6546) and have a chat (while you don't need to reveal your identity in this option, it might be helpful to just let the person you're talking with know that your call is part of a self-care plan).  ​

    • OR, the other option is that you can arrange for us to be the ones making the phone call to you at a regular day/time of the month, etc.  With this option you don't need to remember to make the call, or be in a position where you find yourself needing to reach out to someone but are simply unable to make that effort.  

      • If this is a service you want to take advantage of, then you can either call the NS Warm Line (833-927-6546) and give them your name and phone number​ and let them know you want to be a part of their regular call-outs for a self-care plan; or you can contact our Coordinator at scwarmlinecoordinator@gmail.com, or message us on Facebook.  

    • Either way, our main goal is to meet you where you are, without judgment, and be a caring and empathetic person on the other end of the phone.  You matter greatly, and we are here for you!  

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