HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia Health Authority is launching a new service that will offer short-term counselling and supportive services for first responders and their families impacted by the weekend mass shooting in Nova Scotia.

The service, called First Responders Assist, was formed in collaboration with NSHA’s Mental Health and Addictions Program and Nova Scotia Operational Stress Injury Clinic.

In a Thursday news release from NSHA, they advised any first responders or first responders’ family members who call should indicate they have been impacted by the April 18 and 19 tragedy. The mental healthcare provider will provide immediate assistance in connecting the caller with the appropriate care, including a follow up treatment if needed.

NSHA says their team can connect through telephone or video support. If someone needs to be seen in-person, an appointment will be arranged following public health pandemic protocols.

First Responders Assist can be accessed by calling toll-free at 1-888-429-8167, a special line staffed by mental health professionals 24/7.

The Provincial Mental Health Crisis Line is available 24/7 for anyone else experiencing a mental health crisis or someone concerned about them. They can also call the toll-free number above.