July 15, 2014
My name is Shawn Adams. I work for a landscaping company, which is a member of Landscape Ontario.

I have bi-polar ll disorder, which has been quite a journey for me over the last 20 years.

I am coming back for my fourth season with the same landscaping company. This is the longest I have been at one job in my life. Often times, individuals such as myself with a mental disorder find employment quite difficult. It is often hard to balance work and managing the symptoms that are often so prevalent. I have been through numerous other jobs and am proud I have been able to stay with the same job for this long.

Landscaping offers me a great avenue to express my emotions through my work. Cutting the perfect line, shaping plants and pruning hedges are just some of the things that motivate me to push through whatever negative thoughts I am dealing with at the time. I get great satisfaction leaving a good finished product for the customer and I enjoy the interaction on a daily basis with them.

The company I work for made me lead hand last year, and I seem to have a knack for leadership. I am proud of myself with how I carried out my duties.

I still struggle with many aspects of bi-polar throughout the season, but I find a way to get through. Being outside in the fresh air and taking in the natural surroundings really helps maintain a balance in my life. I am so thankful to the company for enabling me to do something I love and to have success at a job.

The landscaping industry has given me a sense of purpose and I hope to continue to grow as a professional. I wanted to share with others. I think it is important to spread mental health awareness and the positive impact landscaping can have.

About 2.5 per cent of the population in Canada suffers from some form of bipolar disorder.

The LO team is doing a fantastic job representing the industry as a whole.  Keep up the good work.  

Shawn Adams