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Psychosis

Psychosis is often described as a “break from reality” because it makes you experience or believe things that aren’t real. It can change the way you think, act, or feel. Psychosis is a syndrome—a group of symptoms. Psychosis itself isn’t a disease or disorder—it’s usually a sign that something else is wrong.

Treatment for psychosis usually includes medication and counselling. Some people need to stay in the hospital for assessment or treatment. The most important thing to remember is that all symptoms are treatable.

 

What is normal?

Few symptoms of psychosis are part of most people’s normal lives. Signs of psychosis generally means professional help is needed.

 

What are common signs and symptoms?

The following thoughts or behaviours are typical of psychosis:

  • Delusions are a strong belief in something that isn’t true. Like a belief that someone is following you.
  • Hallucinations are things you sense that aren’t really there. The most common hallucination is hearing another voice talking that others can’t hear.
  • Speech is so jumbled or illogical that no one can understand it. 
  • You have a hard time organizing or completing tasks, like cooking or getting dressed. 
  • Your movements are very slow, awkward and rigid, or are very fast.
  • You might not being able to show emotions, talk much, or be motivated to do anything.

 

Should I seek help?

Psychosis is much easier to treat if it’s treated early. People who receive treatment during their first episode of psychosis often recover faster, experience fewer related problems like depression, spend less time in the hospital, and have fewer school, work, or social problems. With treatment, many people never experience psychosis again after they recover from their first episode.

Tools

Mental Health 101

Knowledge is power. This series of free online tutorials is a starting point for learning about mental health.​ You can come away with a greater understanding of the mental health concern you are interested in knowing more about.

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Adults / Seniors / Youth

34 Program(s)

IWK Mental Health and Addictions Program

IWK
This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

The IWK Mental Health and  Addictions Program provides specialized care throughout the province for children and youth up until their 19th birthday within a patient and family...

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Children / Youth

Canadian Mental Health Association - Colchester East Hants Branch

This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Colchester East Hants Branch provides public education, advocacy, and a resource center to support the resiliency and recovery of...

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Adults / Seniors

Canadian Mental Health Association - Halifax-Dartmouth Branch

This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Halifax-Dartmouth Branch works at the community level and facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve...

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Adults / Seniors

Canadian Mental Health Association - Nova Scotia Division

This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

Canadian Mental Health Associations in Nova Scotia are the oldest community-based mental health and addictions charitable organizations in the province, founded in 1908. The...

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Adults / Seniors

Healthy Minds Cooperative

This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

Healthy Minds Cooperative is an innovative mental health cooperative that provides a variety of peer-based services to people with lived experience of mental health issues and...

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Adults / Seniors

Hope for Wellness HelpLine

This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

The Hope for Wellness HelpLine offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Experienced and culturally competent...

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Adults / Seniors / Youth
First Nations, Indigenous

Eskasoni Mental Health

This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

Eskasoni Mental Health Services (EMHS) provides a wide range of services to the Mi’kmaq people of Eskasoni, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The Tui'kn Residential School Survivor...

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Adults / Seniors / Youth
First Nations, Indigenous

Caregivers Nova Scotia

This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

Caregivers Nova Scotia provides free programs, services, information, and advocacy for family and friend caregivers. We are dedicated to providing recognition and practical assistance to friends and family giving care.

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Adults / Seniors
Caregiver, Family

211

211
This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

211 is a free, confidential information and referral service that can connect you to thousands of programs and services offered by local community groups, nonprofits and government departments across Nova Scotia, 24/7.

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Adults / Children / Seniors / Youth

Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services - Mental Health Programs and Services

This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) is responsible for administering Non-Public Property (NPP) on behalf of the Chief of the Defence Staff and for delivering...

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Adults / Seniors
Canadian Forces, RCMP

Veterans Affairs Canada Assitance Service

This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

Veterans Affairs provide targeted services and benefits to improve well-being including support and services related to your physical and mental health and wellness.The VAC...

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Adults / Seniors
Canadian Forces, RCMP

Families Matter in Mental Health

This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

Families Matter in Mental Health is an 11-week education and support program for family or friends who are providing practical and/or emotional support to someone who has a...

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Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS)

This program is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Program Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the program provider.

The Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS) provides a continuum of programs and services for people living with a mental illness and their family/friends. Programs...

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Adults / Seniors

Community Support Service (Child and Adolescent)

The Community Support Program is for school aged children and adolescents registered with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health program.

The program supports the work of the...

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Children / Youth

Health Psychology

Health Psychology offers psychological interventions for those with chronic and acute health conditions. The main focus is on the patient's mental and emotional reaction to an illness or their recovery from an illness.

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Adults

Beacon Program

The Beacon Program a long-term residential program for young adults ages 18 to 35 who are living with mental illness and want to make changes in their lives. People who come...

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Adults

Wellness Court

Wellness Court Programs are specialty or problem-solving courts, where a team of professionals helps treat the issues contributing to the individual coming into conflict with...

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Adults

Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) Unit

The Psychosocial Rehabilitation Unit offers 24 hours a day, seven days a week support for individuals with mental illness (such as Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder and...

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Adults

Geriatric Psychiatry Acute Inpatient Unit

The Geriatric Psychiatry Acute Inpatient Unit is for individuals over the age of 65 with a new onset of mental illness or for individuals of any age with dementia and complicated medical and/or psychological symptoms.

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Seniors

Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Program

Seniors mental health services provide assessment, consultation and treatments to:

  • seniors aged 65 and older for a new onset of mental health challenges
  • individuals of...

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Seniors

Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Program (NSEPP)

The Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Program (NSEPP) is a specialized, community focused, mental health program for young people (and their families) between the ages of 12 to 35 who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis.

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Adults / Youth

Mental Health Day Treatment Program

The Mental Health Day Treatment Program is a full-time, six week intensive group psychotherapy program. The program is for individuals with mental illness who also have long...

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Adults

Adult Neurodevelopmental Stabilization Unit - Dual Diagnosis Program (Intellectual Disability in combination with Mental Illness)

The Adult Neurodevelopmental Stabilization Unit (ANSU) is an acute care unit that provides services for persons with intellectual disability and acute mental illness that...

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Adults

Connections

Connections Service is a recovery-focused program that provides supports and opportunities to adults living with mental illness such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder...

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Adults

Community Transition Program (CTP)

The Community Transition Program (CTP) helps adults who have complex (mental and physical) health and behavioural challenges, and residential/social support needs. The goal is...

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Adults

Seniors Mental Health Services

Seniors mental health services provide assessment, consultation and treatments to:

- seniors aged 65 and older for a new onset of mental health challenges;
- individuals of...

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Seniors

School Mental Health (SchoolsPlus)

The school mental health clinicians provide individual and group therapy, mental health and addictions education for school staff and consultation services. Clinicians are on...

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Children / Youth

Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line

The Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line provides crisis intervention for children, youth and adults experiencing a mental health crisis or mental distress.

...

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Adults / Children / Seniors / Youth

Inpatient Mental Health Services

Inpatient mental health services are available for those who cannot be safely assessed, diagnosed and stabilized in the community. 

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Adults / Seniors

First Nations Services

Mental Health clinicians work as part of the first nations health care team in several first nations communities. The Mental Health Clinician provides assessment, diagnosis...

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Adults / Children / Seniors / Youth
First Nations, Indigenous

Crossroads Clubhouse

Crossroads Cape Breton is community organized to support people living with mental illness in reclaiming and enhancing their lives. People are referred to as “members” because...

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Adults / Seniors

Community Support Service (Adults)

The Community Support Teams for Adults/Community Supports for Adults supports individuals living with persistent mental illness to develop and maintain a safe, satisfying...

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Adults / Seniors

Adult Community Mental Health and Addictions Services

Community Mental Health and Addictions includes a team of mental health and addictions professionals who provide services on an outpatient basis. The team provides assessment...

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Adults / Seniors

Child and Adolescent Services

Child and Adolescent Services/Child Youth and Family/Child and Adolescent Outpatient Clinical Services provide mental health and addiction services to children and youth...

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Children / Youth

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