If you’re in trouble with the law there are lots of places you can get help—but sometimes it’s hard to find them if you don’t know where to look. The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia has a great, teen-friendly website titled, “Youth and the Law,”. If you need a lawyer but can’t afford to hire one, there is Legal Aid available—learn more by visiting the Nova Scotia Legal Aid website.
The IWK can help you
If your trouble with the law stems from a mental health or addiction problem, the IWK can help. We can provide counselling, work with you to access resources, and help you get back on a good track. Our Youth Forensic Services are for youth who have mental health and addiction problems and are also involved with the court and/or probation services. You don’t 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.
If you already have a 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'll meet with an IWK nurse within 24 hours of arriving at the Facility.