Accessing Avalon Services

Avalon Centre has three main programs: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, Counselling, and Education. They can be accessed in the following ways:

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE)

The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program provides care for all genders all ages, who have experienced an immediate sexual assault. The service is available within 120 hours of the assault at four hospitals in the Halifax Regional Municipality:

There are several ways to access the HRM Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program:

  • SANE office: 902-422-6503 (open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.)
  • SANE Response Line: 902-425-0122
  • Avalon office: 902-422-4240 (open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.)
  • IWK Health Centre emergency: 902-428-8050 (or in person)
  • Dartmouth General Hospital emergency: 902-465-8333 (or in person)
  • QEII Health Sciences Centre emergency: 902-473-3383 (or in person)
  • Cobequid Community Health Centre: (902) 869-6100 (or in person)
  • Halifax Regional Police: 902-490-5016

For SANE response outside of the HRM, please click here.

Avalon SANE Response Line

The Avalon SANE Response Line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 902-425-0122.

Counselling and Wait List Information

There are several steps to accessing counselling at Avalon Centre. When someone calls us seeking counselling, they will be connected with the office manager. The office manager, after determining the nature of the call, will transfer you to an Initial Response Therapist. The Initial Response Therapist will ask the client some basic questions, including their address, how they can be reached and the issue they wants to address. The counselling request process takes about 15 minutes.

  • All callers seeking to speak with an Avalon therapist regarding a recent sexual assault are prioritized and are responded to with 24 business hours (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m).  All other calls are returned within 72 hours (3 business days), depending upon the volume of calls and service requests.

During the counselling request process, an initial consultation is set up. When someone comes in for an initial consultation, a therapist explains our programs, services and approach to counselling.This is to help the client determine whether counseling is a good fit for them. If Avalon is a good fit, they are then integrated into one of two counselling streams: Foundations of Safety or Relational Trauma Healing Sessions.

  • Each potential new client of Avalon Centre is provided an initial consultation session within one to six weeks of their initial call.
  • Individuals who have experienced a recent assault are prioritized for a quick access initial consultation and support session offered within one week of a counselling request.

We currently have a wait list for counselling sessions addressing historical sexual abuse/assault. The length of this waitlist varies over time. We want to validate that it takes much courage in seeking specialized sexual abuse/assault counselling and that having to wait can feel discouraging. We encourage those who are seeking more immediate support and have access to an E.A.P or personal benefit program to consider using this option while continuing on our wait list for this specialized counselling.


Individuals wishing to access Avalon programs and services can simply call our office without a referral.

We request that professionals referring clients to us consult this website to avoid inappropriate referrals. Clients should be familiarized with our intake process and wait list before they are referred. This prepares the clients for what to expect when they contact Avalon. Clients can call us directly without the help of a professional.

Groups and Workshops

We presently offer group programs within three broad areas of focus including: ‘Safety Building Foundational Group Programs’, ‘Relational Healing Focused Group Programs’ and ‘Living Fully in Present Life Group Programs’. In a general sense, the safety building foundational programs help prepare people for the relational trauma healing focused programs which in turn help prepare individuals for later stage, living fully in the present programs.

All group programs are co-facilitated by Avalon Centre therapists, which ensures a high standard of safety. Individual counselling sessions are offered as a preparation for group work. Not every person who comes to Avalon Centre for individual counselling chooses to participate in our specialized groups as we understand this work can be more triggering and requires a high level of commitment. Avalon therapists are responsible to take great care when making recommendations for group work to ensure that an adequate level of safety is present. We do not recommend  group work when people are in a place of crisis to ensure that this significant step is manageable. Pre-group meetings are offered to each person who is exploring whether a group program may be a good fit at this time in their healing process and lives. For more information regarding our group programs, please inquire with your individual therapist at Avalon.