A lot of people are uncomfortable talking about mental illness and for many it carries a stigma that creates challenges for them.

Now a former fire fighter is raising awareness and changing the stereotype of people who suffer from mental illness.

Greg McDougall was a 30-year veteran of the Calgary Fire Department when he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and couldn't work.

He was a lieutenant and acting captain and had every level and type of training necessary to do the job.

In 2001 he was diagnosed with the disorder and worked his last shift in January of that year.

Greg fought and won a battle with the Worker's Compensation Board to recoup lost benefits and he continues to fight the stigma associated with mental illness.

He tells how his doctor tried to explain the condition so others could understand.

"He said, you must look at Mr. McDougall as thought he is burned with every square inch of his body because every square inch is incapable of anything," said McDougall.

McDougall still believes he can heal and that it's just a matter of staying with his treatment and time.

For more information on mental illness click on the link.