Starr Dobson leaving news for CEO post in mental health

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HALIFAX – Starr Dobson is leaving CTV this summer.

Dobson, who grew up in Alma, has been with the television channel for 23 years and is current producer and co-host of CTV News at 5. She will now be moving on to become president and CEO of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.

“It was a very difficult decision to make, but the opportunity was so incredible,” Dobson said in a phone interview Monday.

Over the years, through her work, she interviewed and heard stories of people who live with mental illness and it’s always been a cause that touched her. Just as recently as this past weekend during the IWK telethon she was touched by the story of a teen girl who suffered from anxiety and depression, but was able to get the help she needed and is doing well in school.

That transformation in people’s lives is something she wants to be part of.

An acclaimed journalist, recently published children’s author, and dedicated community volunteer for many causes, Dobson has gained the trust and respect of many Nova Scotians during the course of her career, which saw her rise through the ranks to one of the top positions in the station.

She said she will miss the people in the newsroom who became more than just colleagues to her.

“This whole newsroom is full of friends,” she said.

She said she is looking forward to the new challenge though.

“I’m excited and honoured to be a part of the Mental Health Foundation," Dobson said. “I feel privileged to be welcomed into an organization with an amazing board, staff and dedicated group of volunteers, sponsors and donors. I very much look forward to engaging all Nova Scotians.”

She hopes that will bring her back to Pictou County too where she was raised.

The Mental Health Foundation in particular is happy to have her join them.

 “One of the Maritimes’ most respected personal brands, Starr will help us tell our story and take the foundation to new heights,” said Danny Chedrawe, chair of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia board of trustees. “Starr is results-oriented, has proven leadership of people and process, and a passion for our cause.”

Dobson holds a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of King’s College. An Atlantic Journalism Award Winner, she holds multiple accolades for her work in news and programming. She has also served as a board member of Special Olympics Nova Scotia.

Organizations: Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, CTV News, University of King Special Olympics Nova Scotia

Geographic location: Alma, Pictou County

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  • Chris Colwell
    June 28, 2013 - 19:39

    Was saddened to here that we will not see that smiling face every night on CTV Atlantic, but in same breath I envy Nova Scotians for having such a wonderful person at the helm of the Mental Heath Foundation, I have a close friend next door suffering with depression who can't get the help they need here in NB, I wish we had someone up here like Starr to push things along. Good for you Starr, we are proud of you.

  • Karen Green
    June 14, 2013 - 17:26

    Starr will be a positive and wonderful asset to the Mental Health Foundation!!! I have a teenage daughter who has severe social anxiety and other Mental Health issues , which can be very debilitating for her at times!!! It's hard to see her struggle with these issues and I am so glad to see that a person such as Starr is a strong advocate for those dealing with such issues!! We need more people like her !! My daughter has also gotten the help she needed and still is and thankfully has been able to return to school as well!! Best of Luck to you Starr :)

  • bob
    June 05, 2013 - 08:20

    The Mental Health Foundation is the fundraising arm for the Mental Health Assoc. It is about raising financial support. Starr has "star" power so that will be of benefit.

  • Bill MacKeigan
    June 04, 2013 - 08:28

    I am not glad to see Starr go but I understand her decision almost everyone needs a change in careers at some point. I think we all do it. I think she will do well in her new position. But I see we already have a discerner. A degree in a certain field does not make you proficient in that field. Some of the best CEO come from different fields than they studied for. Its like coaching just because you played the sport and were good at it does not make you a good coach. Good Luck Starr enjoy your new job you will do very well at it and know we will miss you on ATV as an announcer.

  • confused
    June 03, 2013 - 21:08

    I'm glad to hear that she's happy in her new position but just a little confused as to how a degree in journalism qualifies you to be CEO of the Metal Health Foundation. Should it not be someone trained in health care, for example; a Registered Nurse, Social Worker, Psychiatrist, etc?....Just Sayin'