Episode 34: The Devastation + Stigma of a Parent’s Divorce and the Unknown Mental Health Crisis

Guest: Christine Yerrill

Christine openly shares how she has struggled with depression since her teen years, undiagnosed, with some re-occurrences post-partum. She explains that her parents’ marriage had fallen apart and the narrative that was created in her mind was that her family had fallen apart. The breakdown of the family unit was a major theme in her struggles growing up. Christine shared that at the time of her parents’ divorce was also a time where divorce was uncommon, and there was a great deal of stigma placed on women who divorced. Her parents were both going through their own emotional pain and suffering, and they did not recognize Christine’s. She openly speaks about how it rattles her to her core when she doesn’t have control over a situation, particularly a stressful one, and anytime there appears a massive change. There were numerous mental health impacts, such as predominant sadness, zapped energy, and inability to complete simple tasks. Some of the impact manifested in weight gain, she ate her feelings, sensation of taste was heightened only to ‘feel good’ in the moment.

Her key message to the listeners is that: social health is so important; you are braver than you think you are with a deeper capacity than you might give yourself credit for; your journey will have hills and valleys — neither last forever.


Guest Bio: Christine has been a valued member of the LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell team since 2002 in both client facing and people leadership roles.  She currently holds the role of Director, Public Safety Development, focused on the needs of the First Responder sector.  She has served over 19 years in the organization, ensuring the LifeWorks services meet employers’ needs.  Her clients have included some of Canada’s largest unionized employers. In her role, Christine brings her ability to engage wellness and leadership stakeholders, problem solve, educate, and build trusting relationships.  This includes oversight of program design, implementation and management, communications, and recommendations for prevention strategies.  She develops strong partnerships with prospective clients and stakeholders, delivers constructive evaluations of programs and demonstrates the positive impact of Lifeworks’ services for members and employees.


Christine is the creator, producer, and co-writer of the HeartBeat Webinar Series, LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell’s monthly client facing “talk radio” style education & sales webinar series, delivering content to organizational leaders on human resource content including mental health. She is the winner of four Employee Assistance Society of North America Corporate Awards of Excellence for her work with Peel Regional Police (2014); Ontario Power Generation (2011 and 2018); Atomic Energy of Canada (2012).


Passionate about: Employee and Family Assistance Programs, especially: 

Lifeworks https://lifeworks.com/en and WW (weightwatchers) https://www.weightwatchers.com/ca/en/