About Melanie


I completed a Masters of Fine Arts and a Masters in Social Work at the University of Victoria. Currently, I work as a mental health clinician for Child and Youth Mental Health and also have my own private practice.  My book Heads Up: Changing Minds on Mental Health is a guide to all things mental health, trauma and recovery written for teens, young adults and their families and caregivers. It highlights diverse, trauma-informed and anti-oppressive perspectives and shares the moving, true stories of youth finding their way to hope. 

The things that keep me healthy and grounded are my loved ones, my community of artists and writers, meditation, reading and writing, and time in the trees or on the water. My life has brought me experience in the areas of emergency medical services, wilderness guiding, creative writing, suicide intervention and mental health work. I love my work as a counsellor and consider it a deep honour to walk alongside people who are finding their way. As I have had my own struggles in life, this quote from Pema Chödrön really resonates with me:

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.”

― Pema Chödrön

Raised as a white, third-generation settler of European/Mennonite heritage, I originally grew up in Treaty 6 territory in Saskatchewan. I have worked and studied, for about 20 years now, while living on the homelands of the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations and the Lekwungen and Xwsepsum peoples of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. I offer my respect for the living histories, traditions, and sovereignty of these Indigenous nations and all First Nation, Inuit and Métis people.

Pronouns: she/her