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Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear that won’t go away. It affects our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It becomes a problem when your daily living activities—like work, school, self-care, and socializing—are negatively impacted. Anxiety that seems uncontrollable or overwhelming, and doesn’t go away, may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder is not the same as stress. With an anxiety disorder, the symptoms are extreme and don’t go away once the stress is over.

It’s important to know that you don’t need to suffer. Some people find they're able to manage the symptoms of their anxiety disorder by stress management, relaxation techniques, exercise, and getting enough sleep. Professional help includes cognitive behavioural therapy, exposure therapy, and medication.
 

What is normal?

Everyone experiences anxiety at times in their life, especially when life gets stressful. It’s normal for people to feel anxious if they’re in a dangerous situation, or before events like public speaking or an interview. But too much anxiety that doesn’t let up, and that interferes with your day-to-day activities, could be a sign of an anxiety disorder.

 

What are common signs and symptoms?

If you’ve experienced some of the signs below, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder:

  • Constantly tense, worried, irritable, or on edge
  • Anxiety interferes with your work, school, or family responsibilities
  • Bothered by fears that you know are irrational, but can’t shake
  • Believing that something bad will happen if things aren’t done a certain way
  • Avoiding everyday situations or activities because they cause you anxiety
  • Sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic
  • Feeling like danger and catastrophe are around every corner

But anxiety is more than just a feeling. It also comes with physical symptoms:

  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Stomach upset
  • Dizziness
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle tension or twitches
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Insomnia

 

Should I seek help?

Some anxiety is normal, but see your doctor if you feel like you're worrying too much, if it's interfering with your school, work, or relationships, if you feel depressed or irritable, have trouble with using  alcohol or drugs, or you have other mental health concerns along with anxiety.

If you have suicidal thoughts or behaviours, seek emergency treatment immediately—call 911 or the Nova Scotia Mental Health Crisis line at 1-888-429-8167.

Your worries are not likely to go away on their own, and they could actually get worse. Anxiety may be easier to treat early on, so get professional help before your anxiety becomes severe.

Tools

Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone
This tool is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Tool Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the tool provider.

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 e-mental health service offering free, confidential support to young people in English and French. Services include mental health tips and info, crisis support, professional counselling, quizzes, games and...

Visit Kids Help Phone

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Adults / Children / Youth

Tranquility

Green Shield Canada
This tool is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Tool Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the tool provider.

Tranquility is an internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) program that has been shown to be effective in improving outcomes and reducing symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and depression. Users of the program will have 24/7 access to...

Visit Tranquility

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Adults / Seniors / Youth

BounceBack

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
This tool is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Tool Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the tool provider.

BounceBack is a free program from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) desgined to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry. 

Working with workbooks and a trained coach to guide you...

Visit BounceBack

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Adults / Seniors / Youth

PSPNET

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

As part of the Government of Canada’s National Action Plan on Posttraumatic Stress Injuries, PSPNET is offering and evaluating Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy, also known as ICBT, specifically tailored for current and former Public...

Visit PSPNET

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Adults / Seniors

Togetherall

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

Togetherall is a clinically moderated, online peer-to-peer mental health community that empowers individuals to anonymously seek and provide support 24/7.

Togetherall provides millions of people access to a safe and supportive online community...

Visit Togetherall

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Adults / Seniors / Youth

Wellness Together Canada

Wellness Together Canada
This tool is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Tool Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the tool provider.

Wellness Together Canada is a mental health and substance use website to support people across Canada and Canadians living abroad in both official languages. They provide the following resources for you at no cost:

  • Immediate text support
  • Informa...
Visit Wellness Together Canada

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Adults / Seniors / Youth

Well Central & Well-being Course

Canadian Mental Health Association
This tool is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Tool Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the tool provider.

Well Central is an accessible and completely free virtual Recovery College offering interactive courses that empower individuals to take control of their mental health and well-being. The Well-being Course, the first course to be offered on the Well...

Visit Well Central & Well-being Course

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Adults / Youth

HealthyMinds@Work

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
This tool is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Tool Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the tool provider.

Discover tools to help support your mental health efforts in creating a space where workers feel safe, respected, and valued.

Visit HealthyMinds@Work

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Adults

Mental Health 101

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
This tool is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Tool Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the tool provider.

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. The tutorials can...

Visit Mental Health 101

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Adults / Seniors / Youth

Psychological First Aid pocket guide

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

This booklet is not intended to replace proper Psychological First Aid training.

Visit Psychological First Aid pocket guide

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Adults / Seniors

MindShift CBT

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

Is anxiety getting in the way of your life? MindShift™ CBT uses scientifically proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to...

Visit MindShift CBT

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Adults / Youth

Antidepressant Skills at Work

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

A self-care guide that teaches employees skills for managing depression and low mood. It utilizes established cognitive-behavioural techniques with a specific focus on workplace issues.

Visit Antidepressant Skills at Work

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Adults

Walk Along

University of British Columbia
This tool is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Tool Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the tool provider.

WalkAlong isn't your typical mental health website, it is a community where young Canadians can explore their mental health amongst their peers. This portal is a Canadian-based mental health resource that also provides information and links to...

Visit Walk Along

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Youth

Mood Meter

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

We can all take actions to improve our ‘mood’ or mental wellness. The Mood Meter is a creative way for you to think about how you are feeling and what actions you can take to improve your mental wellness.

Visit Mood Meter

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Adults / Seniors / Youth

MindWell U

MindWell U - Mindfulness-In-Action
This tool is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Tool Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the tool provider.

When you join you’ll learn how ‘mindfulness-in-action’ is the fastest way to decrease stress, increase resilience, improve your mental health, and make you more capable to handle all of life’s challenges.

Join now to see positive changes in all...

Visit MindWell U

More Information:

Adults / Seniors / Youth

Therapy Assistance Online (TAO)

Therapy Assistance Online
This tool is not administered by Nova Scotia Health Authority. Tool Information may be incorrect and/or out of date. Confirm details with the tool provider.

Online library of engaging, interactive programs to learn life skills and to help you bounce back from disappointments or stumbling blocks in life. As you watch videos and engage with our interactive components, you'll gain the knowledge, self...

Visit Therapy Assistance Online (TAO)

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Adults / Seniors / Youth

36 Program(s)

Access Wellness Nova Scotia

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

Access Wellness is a free single-session supportive counselling service for individuals, couples or families. 

Sessions can be held over the phone, online with video, or in-person. People can speak with a qualified professional and learn...

Adults / Seniors / Youth

Peer Support Phone Service

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

The Peer Support Phone Service is a toll-free, non-crisis, province wide service, available to all Nova Scotians 18 years of age or older.  It is staffed by trained peer supporters, who have personal or family-based lived experience with mental...

Adults / Seniors

Hope For Mental Health

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

Hope For Mental Health provides a continuum of programs and services for people living with a mental illness and their family/friends. These programs promote and support wellness. “Living Well in Community”, is about providing the necessary supports...

Adults / Seniors / Youth

Mental Health and Addictions Day Hospital

The Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) Day Hospital cares for people with intense mental health issues or concerns. We offer:

  • More closely monitored care than what is offered by community MHA clinics
  • Support after you are discharged from an...
Adults

Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq - Mental Wellness Team

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

The Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Mental Wellness Team provides case management and service navigation for First Nations persons of all ages seeking mental wellness services.

We work in collaboration with relevant community and provincial...

Adults / Children / Seniors / Youth
First Nations, Indigenous

Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line

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

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience. Call 1-866-925-4419
There are no fees associated with use and this service is...

Adults / Seniors
First Nations, Indigenous

Strongest Families Institute - Child, Youth and Parent

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

Strongest Families Institute (SFI) offers evidence-based, bilingual mental health services for children/youth and their families, when and where they need it.

SFI’s scientifically proven distance-delivered services improve mental health and well...

Children / Youth

IWK Mental Health and Addictions Program

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

Children / Youth

Canadian Mental Health Association - Colchester East Hants Branch

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

Adults / Seniors

Canadian Mental Health Association - Halifax-Dartmouth Branch

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

Adults / Seniors

Canadian Mental Health Association - Nova Scotia Division

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

Laing House

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

Laing House, located in Halifax, is a drop-in centre for youth aged 16 – 29 living with mental health illness and/or challenges. Based on peer support, youth can meet friends...

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Adults / Youth

Healthy Minds Cooperative

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

Adults / Seniors

Hope for Wellness HelpLine

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

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

Adults / Seniors / Youth
First Nations, Indigenous

Eskasoni Mental Health

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

Adults / Seniors / Youth
First Nations, Indigenous

Caregivers Nova Scotia

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

Adults / Seniors
Caregiver, Family

Kids Help Phone

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

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7, national support service. We offer professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young...

Children / Youth

211

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

Adults / Children / Seniors / Youth

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

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

Adults / Seniors
Canadian Forces, RCMP

Veterans Affairs Canada Assistance Service

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

Adults / Seniors
Canadian Forces, RCMP

Families Matter in Mental Health

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

Adults
Caregiver, Family

Centre for Emotions and Health

The Centre for Emotions and Health Clinic provides specialty consultation and psychotherapy services for people not responding to treatment in other parts of the medical and...

Adults / Seniors / Youth

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.

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...
Seniors

DaRT Program

The Dynamic (attachment-focused) Relational Therapy Program (DaRT) is a part-time six week intensive group psychotherapy program. It is a treatment program that is designed to support adults who have experienced complex emotional trauma resulting in...

Adults

First Responders Assist

This service will offer short-term counselling and supportive services, including follow up if needed, for first responders and their families impacted by the tragedies of...

Adults
First Responders

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...

Adults

Community Outreach Assessment Support and Treatment Team (COAST) - Dual Diagnosis Program (Intellectual Disability in combination with Mental Illness)

The community outreach assessment support and treatment team provides services for persons with both intellectual disability and also mental illness. These services include:

...
Adults

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...

Children / Youth

Nova Scotia Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic

The Nova Scotia Operational Stress Injury Clinic (NSOSIC) belongs to a national network of OSI Clinics funded by Veterans Affairs Canada. The clinic provides mental health...

Adults / Seniors
Canadian Forces, RCMP

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...

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...

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...

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...

Children / Youth

Adolescent Outreach Services

Adolescent Outreach Services (AOS) is an expansion of the CaperBase model, which originated in Cape Breton. AOS focuses on providing:

  • Brief and Early Intervention
  • Screening
  • Outreach
  • Community Partnerships

The AOS model is set up for youth...

Children / Youth

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