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Last year Gillian Stein, CEO of Henry's Enterprises, opened up publicly about her bipolar disorder and became the first Canadian CEO to disclose she had a mental illness. In this episode of Chatter That Matters, she shares her intentions behind the decision as well as advice for listeners.

Tony Chapman is no stranger to mental illness: His father’s bipolar disorder was a constant presence growing up that he and his family lived with. It’s no wonder Gillian Stein’s announcement about her own mental illness struck a chord, leading to an emotional and deeply personal Chatter That Matters episode.

Stein is the CEO of Henry’s Enterprises — one of Canada’s most iconic retailers. Her grandfather founded Henry’s Cameras in 1909 and she is the fourth generation to lead the company. She chats with Tony about why she felt the need to disclose her illness to the world and how she believes it can help minimize the stigma of mental illness in the business community. She shares her views on vulnerable leadership and how her decision helps create a psychologically safe environment for Henry’s employees.

Stein offers advice to listeners who may be struggling. “You know yourself better than anybody,” she says. “If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and get help.” Help may be from a family doctor, a family member, psychiatrist, psychologist, emergency room doctor or a friend, she says. Stein also shares more about Henry’s Foundation, which she launched with her sister Amy Stein in 2020 and its mission to support the mental health of Canadians everywhere. Their campaign #uncapturedmoments aims to reduce the stigma around mental health online by showing that people struggle every day.

A traditional camera retailer for generations, Henry’s has faced strong forces of change in recent years, from the evolution of smartphone camera technology to the pandemic. But Stein has embraced the changes as opportunities, transforming Henry’s into a place that services the needs, trends and creative appetites of today’s content creators.

Stein has the confidence to live the life she deserves, manage her mental illness and effectively run a business through challenging times. A leader of the future, she shows just how powerful vulnerability and transparency can be.

Tony Chapman created the Chatter that Matters podcast to counter the storm of negativity and impossibility with true stories of ordinary people who do extraordinary things. He chats with Olympians, Advocates, Celebrities, Leaders, and people who battled what seemed like insurmountable odds.

In doing, listeners hear life lessons that inspire all of us to do more and to be more, to help us get to where we need, want and deserve to go. RBC is the presenting sponsor.

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