What do I do if I am in crisis and need help?

We have a 24/7 crisis service so even if it is late at night, you are not feeling safe and need to talk to someone. If you’re in distress, struggling or just feel you just can’t cope anymore, or know someone who is, call the our crisis line right away to speak to a counsellor. We will listen and work with you to help figure out the next steps.

How can I contact or make an appointment and get help?

We are available by phone or by dropping in to one of our offices in Napanee to discuss your concerns and make an appointment. Following a brief phone conversation or in person meeting an assessment appointment will be made for you to speak to a clinician on staff in the program most appropriate for the concerns you have identified. Our mandate is to serve individuals 16 years of age and over in our programs. Please see program descriptions for an overview of our services.

How do I know if I have a problem with drugs or addictions?

Thinking it’s time, is the first step – congratulations! It’s important to ask yourself what you are experiencing that has you asking the question. Are you experiencing consequences of use or behaviour which is having negative effects in your life (conflict at home, at work, with the law; financial problems, mood or emotional distress)?. Our program is staffed with professionally trained counsellors, who are available and willing to speak to you on the phone or in person. Please contact us for a consultation.

Can I get help for both my drug use problems and some mental health problems?

Yes. We recognize the significant interaction between substance use and mental health and have staff well trained and experienced to work with these concurrent concerns. This recognition was the primary reason for our service amalgamation in 2007. We follow the provincial Policy Framework to address the needs of people living with concurrent substance use and mental health issues. The Policy Framework recognizes the complexity of concurrent substance and mental health problems and we encourage access to services through our vision of seamless, integrated care. Just call for an appointment.

What is the advantage of going to a group or a treatment program?

People are different but almost everyone can benefit from some form of support and treatment when struggling with mental health and/or addictions issues. Support of a group of other people learning to cope with the same problem may help you resist behaviours and feelings you struggle with regularly. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable talking about feelings, thoughts and behaviours to others after hiding or avoiding them for so long. Many people find the group support much less scary than initially thought and much more helpful than they might have dared to believe. There are a range of programs available at the agency supporting common goals of learning to enjoy a new lifestyle free of substances, symptoms or problematic behaviour involving learning new ways to cope with the problems. For this kind of learning it is often helpful to enrol in a structured program that includes education and skills training as well as support. In addition, one can benefit from the experience and training of the professional counsellors who do the teaching and who facilitate these groups.

What if I am in trouble with the law and have mental health problems? Can LAACMHS help?

Yes. We have several programs to support individuals whose mental health problems have influenced their criminal justice involvement. Our court diversion, criminal justice case management and release from custody staff work with justice personnel including court staff, probation, police and institutional staff to support throughout the system. Please see program support & services for more information.

What should I do about “using” or “gambling” while I wait to see a counsellor?

Our counsellors will arrange to see you as quickly as possible following first contact. Making this contact we already see that you have made a decision to change, while also recognizing that you are reaching out because the problem seems out of hand. On our site we have links to self-help supports in the area as well tips you can work on yourself.

Remember that the journey starts with the one step you have already taken, and will probably not be simple if the problem has been around so long that it is creating lots of other problems in your life. Our agency philosophy is harm reduction and recovery focussed and we work beside you to support concerns identified which can also be supported through access to our 24/7 crisis service, particularly if you struggle after hours.

What do I do if a family member has a problem but doesn’t want help?

It is hard to watch someone you care about having difficulty with a mental illness, or with alcohol or drug use, particularly when you think that this behaviour is hurting them and having an impact on the family. You may also see this with someone you love who is spending time or money that they do not have on gambling activities. Even though you may express your concerns they may still not be able to change as quickly or as completely as you might like; or they even may not see things the same way you do.

There is help for you here at LAACMHS. We offer information, resources and materials as well as the possibility to meet with a counsellor on your own to work on your reactions, emotions and skills to manage, while supporting your family or friends. We can help you understand how hard change can be and why people struggle with change even though they may know that they probably should change. Remember that most people really do want to make changes when they feel overwhelmed by problems, it is a matter of overcoming the “devil you know” and exploring how to do so. Some refer to this as “Taming your Dragons”.

I want to keep this information private. Can LAACMHS assure no one finds out?

Information will only be provided to those who require it to provide service to the client at the express written or verbal consent by the client. Consent which has been given may be revoked at any time.

LAACMHS is legally obligated to provide client information only in the situations when clients disclose or staff suspect any kind of child abuse, when the client’s or someone else’s life or personal safety is at risk or when information is subpoenaed for judicial proceedings.