Community, People, Research

Helpline provides timely, accessible support for men, report finds

September 24, 2021

“Life can be tough. It’s okay for everyone to reach out and ask for help” is the message being sent to men as part of a new service aimed at preventing domestic violence and providing a safe place for men to get help.  

This is according to a report from Western Education professor Katreena Scott from the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children (CREVAWC) and co-author, professor Diane Crocker from Saint Mary’s University. 

The researchers worked collaboratively with community and government partners to evaluate the Men’s Helpline, a new service in Nova Scotia that provides support for adult men who have concerns about their emotional well-being, safety and/or safety of others. This free, confidential service provides information, referrals and brief intervention counselling that are specific to each man’s needs. 

Scott and Crocker examined the helpline’s performance, including the number of calls, statistics and client-needs assessments.  

They found Men’s Helpline provides timely and accessible support and services to men, including supporting them with a diverse range of needs and concerns. The report found Men’s Helpline provided almost 800 individual counselling sessions while seeing a 33 per cent increase in the number of men who sought help during COVID-19. 

“Our report clearly indicates there’s a need for this helpline service,” said principal investigator and Academic Director of CREVAWC, professor Katreena Scott. “The pandemic has created additional risk of domestic and family violence.  Providing a place for men to reach out and get assistance to prevent violence or reduce escalation is one part of the response we need.” 

The government of Nova Scotia has been working with community partners to enhance province-wide supports for families. Enhancing support for men – and normalizing reaching out for help – are important components of preventing violence against women and children. 

The Nova Scotia Men’s Helpline Evaluation Report is part of Standing Together, Nova Scotia’s coordinated action plan to prevent domestic violence and improve the system of supports for Nova Scotians. Partners include 211 Nova Scotia, Family Service of Eastern Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services.