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Gillian Stein - Bravery Matters

Gillian Stein battles a changing retail landscape while battling Bipolar Disorder. Her mission is to change the stigma of mental illness.

(Full disclosure, my Dad was also bipolar, and I share a personal story as part of this show.)

Gillian Stein was eighteen and convinced she was in Arizona. She was, in fact, at the airport in Montreal. As Gillian says in this interview, 'my mind betrayed me, and that's a terrifying place to be.'

Gillian knew this wasn't just anxiety. Mental illness wasn't new to her family. Her father, the former CEO of camera retail chain Henry's Enterprises, also suffered from the same infliction. Gillian was fortunate to be in a family where she didn't have to hide it and where she could get help. Many aren't so lucky as the stigma and disparities around mental illness continue.

I find that Gillian Stein wants to change the stigma, and what she is doing Is very brave. Standing on her platform as the CEO of electronics retailer Henry's, she announced she has a mental illness diagnosis. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, she is the first Canadian CEO to share her condition publicly.

And she is doing it at a time when she is also transforming the business in a pandemic and the face of a changing retail landscape favouring clicks over bricks. She is making brave and bold decisions that require the full support of her employees, customers, suppliers, landlords, and bankers. These stakeholders must have complete confidence in Gillian's insights, strategies, and capabilities. It is a powerful episode for anyone struggling with their mental health and many lessons in leadership on how to turn what seems like impossibility into great possibilities.

Andrejka Massicotte, Senior Director, North American Benefits & Global Wellness at RBC, joins the show to share her thoughts on what organizations large and small can do to support their employees.


Get Connected & Chatting

To connect with Gillian Stein find her on Twitter I LinkedIn I Instagram I Facebook

To chat with me, Tony Chapman find me on Twitter I LinkedIn I Instagram I Facebook

To learn more about RBC and their programs visit


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