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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What should I do in a mental health or addiction crisis?  
  • Call the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668, available 24/7 to provide support and information during a crisis; 
  • or text 'TALK' to the Crisis Text Line at 686868;
  • or call 911;
  • or visit the nearest hospital emergency department.
2. How do I find the closest mental health and addiction office to me?
The website has listings of all the mental health and addiction offices in the province.
You can also call the HealthLine at 811 for a nurse to give you a location and phone number.
If you feel that you need more specific help to find the right service for you, please call our mental health and addictions navigator toll-free at: 1-877-999-7589 or 709-752-3916.
3. Why is there an intake or triage process before I see a therapist? 
Intake interviews, triage or brief assessments provide us with valuable information to ensure you are matched to the best person or program for you.  
4. Can I just show up, or do I have to make an appointment to see a mental health and addiction counsellor?  
DoorWays is our drop-in mental health and addiction service and no appointment is needed to see a counsellor. DoorWays locations and times are listed on the left tab ‘Counselling Options’, and also listed at You may also call the HealthLine at 811 for schedule information.
Appointments are needed for most of our other services. Please don’t hesitate to call a HealthLine nurse at 811 for information.
5. How do I see a psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are specialists and a family physician or nurse practitioner referral is needed. Please visit your healthcare provider to discuss.
6. Is my confidentiality protected?  
Yes, each Regional Health Authority has strict policies requiring all staff and professionals to protect your personal health information at all times. For more information, please the 'Privacy and Confidentiality' page.
7. What is 'Stepped Care'?
'Stepped Care' is an approach that gives individuals and families access to a range of services, starting with self-managed supports if appropriate.  For example, someone may prefer to use self-help resources, an online program, peer support or go to a single session walk-in clinic instead of, or before, attending in-person individual counselling or psychological therapy.  
For more information, please see the 'Stepped Care' Approach brochure (PDF, 2018).
8. What are mental health and addiction 'outpatient services'?
Outpatient services are assessment, treatment and counselling services that are offered outside of the hospital, and in offices in the community. Mental health and addictions professionals, along with psychiatrists, are available to meet you in a variety of ways:  
  • Nurses, occupational therapists, social workers and psychologists provide therapy, typically for one hour every week or two. Sessions may include ‘talk-therapy’, relaxation exercises and goal-setting so that you can develop a greater understanding of yourself and what you would like to change/improve in your life.
  • Psychiatrists are medical specialists that help with assessment and medication for mental illness and can also consult with your family physician.  
  • If you reside in St. John’s and surrounding area, you can request an appointment by calling Central Intake at 709-752-8888.  If you reside outside of St. John’s and surrounding area, please call your local Mental Health and Addiction office or the HealthLine at 811 to arrange an appointment.
For more information, please see Information Guide: Outpatient Individual Mental Health and Addictions Services (PDF, 2018).


Updated Jan 17, 2019