For the past 31 years, Michelle has worked through the continuum of care in the addiction field. She has achieved certifications in gambling and addictions. She is also a Registered Social Service Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Michelle is currently working at Homewood Community Addictions Services as a Problem Gambling & Technology Overuse Counsellor. Michelle is also an Instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University (2014) and enjoys teaching Understanding Relapse Prevention (In-class Workshop, Online Workshop).
Michelle has been intrigued with problem gambling since 1989 and for the past 16 years has provided outpatient counselling (individual, group) to problem gamblers and their significant others. She has initiated, developed, implemented and facilitated a wide range of programs and services for problem gamblers and their significant others. She has also developed relapse prevention programs for both problem gamblers and substance abusers. She is currently co-facilitating a Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Program for substance use and gambling.
Michelle has had the pleasure to work in all areas of the gambling field and has developed partnerships with key stakeholders in all facets of the gambling industry: treatment, prevention, gambling venues and research. Michelle was a co-investigator on a research project titled A Comprehensive Review of Problem Gambling Self-Assessment Tools for Use on an Internet Platform and was honoured to present the findings at the 15th International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking in Las Vegas (2013).
She has been a source for the media and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications (National Post, Financial Post, Globe and Mail, Guelph Mercury, The Record, Orangeville Banner, Guelph Tribune). She has collaborated with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to develop a video that promotes treatment and self-exclusion (knowyourlimit.ca).
Michelle has also co-authored a book My Parent’s Aren’t NOOBS! This heartfelt story for children (age 5-8) and parents highlights the importance of technology (video games) with today’s generation of youth and promotes healthy video gaming habits. An article on “The Story Behind the Story” was featured in the online magazine, One Thousand Trees (March 2017).
Michelle is a proud supporter of The Family Dinner Project (TFDP). Her family was featured in TFDP’s September Newsletter and her blog Tech, Talk and Turkey was posted on TFDP website.
Michelle was excited to be involved in the Brain Connections Project. She was one of seven Problem Gambling Counsellors in Ontario who were invited to provide feedback on handouts related to gambling and the brain. These handouts are used as a clinical tool to enhance treatment for problem gamblers and their significant others.
Recently, Michelle was honoured to be invited by McMaster Health Forum to be a merit reviewer for a citizen brief titled, “Strengthening Collaboration to Optimize Efforts Addressing Gambling-Related Harm in Ontario.”
In 2017, Michelle initiated and launched a Balanced Technology Management (BTM) Committee (concept coined by Cris Rowan) in her local community. The BTM Committee brings together a variety of stakeholders passionate to ensure that children and youth receive a balance between activities that promote healthy development with technology use.
Michelle has also had the opportunity to present on gambling, technology and substance use at a variety of forums throughout her career.
Michelle enjoys theatre, live music, volleyball, karaoke, and board games.
My Parents Aren’t NOOBS! (Saplings Press, 2016)