Late last month, Gilliland was featured by Virginia Business in a Virginia 500 spotlight, during which she discussed her efforts to champion mental health support.
“As an employer, I believe we have a responsibility to raise awareness around the importance of mental wellness and continue to encourage critical conversations on how we can support ourselves and one another,” she said in the interview.
Gilliland’s dedication to mental health awareness drove her to establish GDIT’s “How are you, really?” campaign, which was launched in the wake of an employee’s suicide. Since then, she said that the enterprise has “seen a significant increase” in staff seeking mental health counseling.
A healthy and resilient team is critical for mission readiness, said Gilliland. She noted that on top of the thousands of cleared individuals GDIT employs, over 25 percent of the organization’s workforce are veterans.
“Both populations struggle with the stigma around seeking mental health help, particularly those who fear it might impact their clearance,” Gilliland said.
“Statistically, only 0.00115% of clearances have been denied or revoked due to mental health and seeking counseling does not prohibit someone from acquiring or retaining a security clearance,” she added.
Though drawing attention to mental health and considering work alternatives “can be a huge culture shift for companies,” said Gilliland, collaborating to address mental health issues can empower “our resiliency as a nation.”