Opening Doors - End Family Violence (ODEFV) is a series of traveling workshops aimed at providing rural areas in Nova Scotia with information and resources to better understand mental illness and addictions, and links to family violence.

The workshops will be free and promoted in advance. They will be designed to educate and entertain. They will feature presentations by a mental health expert (on a range of topics as identified by each community), a first-voice speaker, an entertainment component, a Q & A opportunity and take-home resources. Starr Dobson will be the emcee.

The workshops will include the input of community leaders, volunteers and mental health/family violence advocates in each location.

The sessions will be safe spaces, free of judgment.

This page will be updated with videos, photos, recapped highlights and comments from session attendees. The sessions will be videotaped to be shared on YouTube for a wider reach.*

Ultimately, ODEFV will raise awareness, initiate conversation and eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness, addiction and family violence in each community. The workshops are designed to bring people together to raise their knowledge and understanding. We know there's a real hunger for more information in our rural communities. ODEFV will feed that need while making attendees feel comfortable and safe. ODEFV is about giving people the tools and resources they need to make themselves, their families, and their communities stronger and safer.

Our vision is a future where Nova Scotians living with mental illness are thriving in our communities.

ODEFV is sponsored by the Department of Justice Canada (Justice Partnership and Innovation Program) and Lawtons Drugs.


*No members of the audience will be videotaped.

We also call our monthly donor program Opening Doors. Learn more below.

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ODEFV will visit the following areas in 2015-2016:

Annapolis Valley (March 31)
Millbrook First Nation (June 2)
Cape Breton (September 26)
Digby (October 4)



Please visit our YouTube channel for videos featuring our Key Note Speakers for 2015-16.


OPENING DOORS- monthly donors

Monthly donations to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia open doors for individuals living with mental illness.  Assimilating back into the community can be a scary and often difficult time.  Having access to special services and programs funded by the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia helps with recovery and integration.  

A monthly donation allows greater capacity for mental health success in Nova Scotia.

The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia provides grants for as little as $500 (that is just over $40/month) with all money donated staying in Nova Scotia and making a difference in the lives of those living with mental illness and their families.

There are more than 200,000 people living with mental illness in Nova Scotia. Join our community of support to ensure no one in Nova Scotia finds themselves facing a mental illness alone.

Together, we are keeping doors open. Together we are changing the way people think about mental illness. 

Simply select 'Opening Doors' and 'Recurring gift' on the donation menu.