Melissa Freedman M.S.W., R.S.W.
Melissa has her Masters in Social Work (U. of T., 1989) and she is a Registered Social Worker, and a member of the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. With nine years clinical experience working mostly in hospital settings, Melissa works in partnership with her clients to address their adjustment to the child’s illness in the family. She works with parents, the child, siblings or grandparents who are struggling during this stressful time.
Melissa’s counselling and advocacy work at the Hospital For Sick Children has given her an appreciation for and understanding that illness impacts on the family as a system, not just the individual. There is an emotional roller coaster and various practical issues that arise during the course of an illness, particularly when there is uncertainty as to the prognosis. Melissa works with clients to assess their psychosocial adjustment to illness and to maximize their support network during this challenging time in their life often utilizing a Solution Focused therapy approach.
Melissa is particularly interested in clients who have a family member with an “invisible” injury, such as a concussion, autoimmune condition, severe allergy, as well as those families who have experienced neonatal loss, or an illness that has a child in and out of hospital.
In 2016 Melissa was invited to Co-Facilitate the new on-line Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group for people living with the effects of a Concussion and/or Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). The group was piloted by the Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) in response to an overwhelming need for social/emotional supports that were accessible to all people across the province. Additionally, Melissa is a Member of the Neurotrauma Foundation’s Concussion Care Committee, which hosted a Concussion Summit in April 2016 with 65 Concussion Service providers along with Consumer Representatives and Individuals with lived experience of Concussion in attendance. Melissa continues to work collaboratively with this Committee to develop patient information for individuals and their families across the province.