Wednesday, January 25, 2017

DJ Says She Was Fired Over Mental Health

Maria McLean
Maria McLean was an afternoon radio host at CIKX K93 FM in Grand Falls, NB until she was fired on Jan. 12, just one hour after sharing her struggles with mental illness with her colleagues and giving her supervisor a doctor's note stating that she needed two weeks off work to adjust to her new medication.

"It's like a nightmare I can't escape, I think about it all day, I think about it when I sleep," said the 24-year-old.

According to the CBC, McLean said the irony of the situation is that the radio station she was fired from is owned by Bell Media, part of Bell Canada Enterprises, the company behind a national fundraiser for mental health initiatives called "Bell Let's Talk."

But McLean feels that talking and sharing her struggles is what caused her to lose her job.

"I took that note from my doctor to my supervisor because I was admitting I needed help.

"I said, 'In two weeks I am going to be better. I just need this time.' And I was punished for that."

Caught off-guard

The former afternoon radio host and ad writer said she was caught off-guard because she thought things were going well at work. McLean said her supervisor, Kirk Davidson, suggested she take over hosting the morning show the summer of 2017.

Davidson declined to comment on the matter.

McLean said she still hasn't received a reason for her termination. She said the company has agreed to pay her three weeks severance pay.

"Bell Let's Talk" donates five cents to "mental health initiatives" every time someone mentions "Bell Let's Talk" on social media on Jan. 25. McLean said she feels the company has the right intentions, but with better treatment during her own personal mental health problems, the company could have put its money where its mouth is.

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