Shelter pilot to respond to addictions, mental health needs at Metro Turning Point

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 10:54am

Capital Health's Addiction Prevention and Treatment Services (APTS) and Shelter Nova Scotia are partnering to help Metro Turning Point clients deal with their addiction-related issues. Many shelter clients have problems with alcohol, drug use and/or gambling, and that can make it hard for them to find stable employment and housing. Capital Health's Mental Health Program already has a team member working with clients at Metro Turning Point.  APTS and the Mental Health Program will work together closely on this project, since many clients with addictions also live with mental illness.

The new project, which will begin in the New Year, has three goals:

(1) counselling, groups and other addictions/mental health programming offered onsite at Metro Turning Point

(2) advanced training for shelter staff so that they are better able to support clients with addictions issues

(3) improved access to addictions programs and services for shelter clients who are ready to make changes

“An overwhelming proportion of the men and women staying in local shelters are suffering with addictions and mental health issues. Many feel lost or hopeless when it comes to finding help,” says Bill Pratt, Executive Director of Shelter Nova Scotia. “With a stronger and more visible shelter-based presence, APTS can build relationships with the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

With the holidays fast approaching, Capital Health staff have also decided to help out at Metro Turning Point in an even more immediate way. One Capital Health team is planning a holiday meal for shelter clients, while staff from across Capital Health have been collecting new socks to help shelter clients stay warm and dry in the harsh winter months.