A truly great clinician is hard to find, difficult to part with, and impossible to forget.
Earlier this month, and with mixed emotions, we bid our Deputy Clinical Director, Lauren Melzack happy trails as she began her well-deserved journey into retirement.
Lauren has been a huge part of the Edgewood family for the past 13 years and she will be greatly missed by her peers, patients and alumni. We have all benefited from Lauren’s knowledge, passion and personal experience. She has been an inspiration and source of hope to many individuals from all walks of life and her calming presence and witty sense of humour will be fondly remembered throughout the House of Miracles. Thank you Lauren, for your dedicated years of service.
But Who Really is Lauren? Let’s Get to Know Her a Little More.
Born in Boston, MA and raised in Montreal, QC., Lauren holds an associate degree in criminal justice, a bachelor’s degree in management, and her master’s degree in environmental science. In 1995, Lauren first became a Certified Addiction Counsellor in the United States, later becoming a Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor (CCAC) and still remains a member in good standing with the CACCF.
After eventually calling the west coast of Canada home, in June of 2008, Lauren began working at Edgewood in Nanaimo as a clinical counsellor. She has worked closely with thousands of patients and their families, and with over two decades of experience in both Canada and the US, Lauren’s clinical and leadership skills led her to her to becoming a valued member of the management team at Edgewood.
When asked what inspired her to become a clinical counsellor, Lauren replied clearly, “My own recovery. It was a natural calling and it just fit.” With a smirk on her face, Lauren explained, “I’ve only been good at two things in life: One was getting high, the other was recovery.”
Lauren believes working in the field of addiction treatment and recovery has made her a better person, acknowledging that in order to bring your best to the patients you serve, you have to do your own work. “It’s challenging sometimes, yes,” she says, “but it keeps you accountable and shows others that the more work you put into your own recovery, the more you get back.” Candidly acknowledging that working in the field of residential treatment can present many challenges, the rewards far out way the demands, and she wouldn’t have had it any other way. “How lucky am I? I got to come to work every day, be present and connected to the patients in the moment, all while being my authentic self.”
Life After Edgewood
“Since 2008, Edgewood has been my family, my second home, and has provided me with structure, stability and more love than I ever could have imagined, but I am excited about the future and all the adventures it holds.” Lauren and her partner have already embarked on a cross Canada road trip and hope to spend plenty of time travelling abroad in the near future. (first trip is already booked) Some of her favourite hobbies include bird watching, photography, and rock polishing. That’s right, she likes to spend hours of time looking for little gems hidden in the desert and other obscure places.
When asked what she will miss most about Edgewood, she laughed and said, “The baking!”, but in all seriousness she will deeply miss both the patients and the staff.
A Message to Our Alumni
Lauren has promised us that she will be back in some capacity and says, “You’re not getting rid of me that easy”, but she does want to pass along a message to you, our alumni, who mean the world to her:
“You are all part of my Tribe. I’ve learned just as much from you, as you have from me; and it never felt like work. — Don’t quit before the miracle happens because they are continuous and you’re all one in your own way.”
“I hope to see you all at October’s Cake Night because, by the grace of God, I’ll be celebrating 34 years! From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for being part of my journey.”