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Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do in a Mental Health or Addiction crisis?  
Call the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668. It is available 24/7 to provide support and information during a crisis. 
Or call 911.
Or visit the nearest hospital emergency department.
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. Or, you could call 811 and a Healthline nurse can give you a location and phone number.
If you feel that you need more specific help to find the right service for you, please don’t hesitate to call our Systems Navigator:
1-877-999-7589 or 752-3916
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.  
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 this website under ‘Counselling Options’. They are also listed at , or feel free to call 811.  
Appointments are needed for most of our other services. Please don’t hesitate to call a Healthline nurse at 811 for information.
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.
Is my confidentiality protected?  
Yes. Each Regional Health Authority has strict policies requiring all staff and professionals to protect your information at all times. For more information: Personal Health Information Act Brochure (pdf, 2011)
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/before attending in-person individual counselling or psychological therapy.  
For more information, please click here: Stepped Care Approach, pdf 2017
What are mental health and addiction Outpatient Services?
‘Outpatient services’ are assessment, treatment and counselling services that are offered by teams outside of the hospital, in offices in the community.  Mental health and addictions professionals, along with psychiatrists, are available to meet you:  
  • 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 help with assessment and medication for mental illness and can also consult with your family physician.  
  • If in St. John’s and area, you can request an appointment by calling Central Intake, 752-8888.  If you are outside of St. John’s and area, please call your local Mental Health and Addiction office or 811 to arrange an appointment.
  • For more information, please click here: Individual Outpatient Services, pdf 2017.


Updated Nov 7, 2018