Reflections From My First Four Months

10 June 2024

Written by Marco Colaiacovo:

As I reflect on my first four months as Executive Director of 211 Nova Scotia, two aspects stand out.

Firstly, I am struck by the interconnectedness of people’s issues. It may seem obvious, but in 2023, mental health emerged as the most frequently referred category by 211 Nova Scotia. This is likely because mental health is profoundly affected by other unmet human needs, creating a cyclical environment where these issues thrive. Shelter, food, and income all play critical roles in our mental wellbeing. The magnitude and complexity of these issues for Nova Scotians are both staggering and deeply concerning. Addressing these challenges requires a coordinated effort to peel back the layers and drive meaningful change.

Secondly, I am deeply impressed by the support provided by our 211 Community Resource Navigators. Their interactions extend far beyond simply taking calls and providing answers. The Navigator team conducts compassionate needs analyses during every interaction to ensure that both stated and unstated needs are identified. Their dedication doesn’t stop there; they go the extra mile by engaging in advocacy work, making calls on behalf of callers to find solutions, and conducting follow-up calls to ensure the best outcomes. I am amazed and proud of the comprehensiveness of their support, the dedication of the team, and their unrelenting willingness to help.

These first four months have been an eye-opener for me. While I was aware of the different challenges experienced throughout the province, it is humbling to listen to the 211 Navigators and be privy to their perspectives. As I look towards the future, I am committed to working with the 211 Nova Scotia team and partners to ensure that we continue to focus on the wellbeing of our team, strengthen our partnerships, and provide compassionate support to all.


About Marco Colaiacovo:

Marco Colaiacovo (he/him) joined the 211 Nova Scotia team in January 2024 and assumed the role of the Executive Director on February 1, 2024. Marco brings a wealth of expereince to 211NS from his extensive experiences within the contact centre sector and his volunteer work with the United Way and the Italian Canadian Cultural Centre.

Contact Marco at
Connect with Marco on LinkedIn.

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