If you are in trouble with the law, there are lots of places you can get help. Sometimes it is hard to find them if you don’t know where to look.
If you are in conflict with the law, the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia has a great, teenager-friendly website www.legalinfo.org/i-have-a-legal-question/youth/ where you can find out all kinds of information on what to expect if you have to go to court and how to get help.
If you need a lawyer and cannot afford to hire one, there is Legal Aid available. You can get more information and find an office near you at www.nslegalaid.ca.
Can the IWK help me?
If you have mental health and addiction problems you are struggling with, yes we can. Youth Forensic Services supports youth who have mental health and addiction problems and are also involved with the Provincial Court and/or Probation Services. You do not need a doctor or your parent or guardian to call. You can call yourself.
Sometimes people feel embarrassed asking for help. That is okay, call us anyway.
The social worker or psychologist you talk to will not discuss your information with anyone who is not authorized to know it. There are important limits to this confidentiality. Any information that you provide that suggests that you may harm yourself or another person will be reported immediately. Any information that you provide to suggest that a child is being hurt will be reported immediately.
We can provide counseling, work with you to access resources and help you get back on a good track.
If you already have a Provincial Court date and think you might be placed in custody at the Nova Scotia Youth Facility in Waterville, we have nurses, social workers and psychologists there as well. You will meet with an IWK nurse within 24 hours of arriving at the Youth Facility. Let us know what we can help you with.