I have more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and editor. For most of this time, I have divided my career between working in Education Services and now Communications & Public Affairs at CAMH, and doing freelancing writing.
Education Services, CAMH
At CAMH, my work in Education (2001 to 2019) included developmental and structural editing, copy editing and proofreading, as well as some writing. I worked on everything from brochures and manuals to multi-author books and material for the website. Sometimes these publications were directed to clients and families; other times to allied health professionals. Regardless of the format, my work involved communicating complex health information in a way that is accessible, clear and in plain language.
Communications & Public Affairs, CAMH
Now in Communications & Public Affairs at CAMH (2019 – ongoing), I continue to edit material on mental health and addictions, but I am also doing more writing, both for an internal audience (for hospital staff) and externally (for the public).
I focus my travel stories on health and wellness, with a particular focus on fitness for women 55 plus. Although historically I have written stories on everything from weekend getaways, to food and wine to intergenerational family travel, a wellness focus seems to blend well with our times. Today, we live in the era of COVID, so travel writing isn’t really about crossing distances. But fundamental to travel writing is the exploration of place, and for now that place is home. So while I won’t be travelling internationally for a while, I continue to focus on staying fit, eating well, and cycling and hiking in Ontario. And because I am 55 years old, I will write about what I know, targeting other active women, who like me, continue to challenge ourselves with daily online fitness classes in our living rooms and cycling and walking and hiking in nature.
Having been born on the Prairies, lived in B.C. and grown up in Montreal, I have experienced all sides of Canada. I am now settled near the middle – in Toronto. My stories have appeared in many major Canadian publications, including The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, besthealthmag.ca, Canadian Cycling Magazine, City Parent, Daily Hive, Empty Nest, Forever Young (Ontario and B.C.), Forever Young (Western New York), Travel Life Magazine and West Jet Magazine.
Mental Health and Lifestyle Writing
My mental health writing has been informed by my social work training, and my internships in outpatient child and adolescent, and inpatient psychiatry. (I have a Masters in Social Work from McGill University as well as journalism training.) While I often interview people about their personal experiences with mental health problems, I also speak and write openly about my own struggles with anxiety and depression as a way to reduce stigma around these issues. My belief is that people work with their difficulties, and that their ability to cope with adversity is as much a part of their life story as is their suffering.
As well as mental health, I write about lifestyle and relationship issues with stories on everything from grieving to volunteering to yoga to breaking up with a best friend.
My feature-length articles have appeared in a range of Canadian publications, including The Toronto Star, Best Health Magazine, Canadian Living, everythingzoomer.com, The READ, Today’s Parent and youareunltd.com.
My parenting stories provide practical information and reassurance from other parents and experts. But hopefully they do more than that. Whether writing about kids cross-dressing, getting depressed, having learning issues or frustrating their mothers, I am the voice of the parent who does her best, isn’t perfect, but finds humour and humanity in parents’ efforts and experiences.
My feature articles have been published in all the major Canadian parenting magazines, including Today’s Parent, Canadian Living, Parents Canada and what was once Canadian Family.
My formal training dates me. Here goes:
1995-96 McGill University, MSW
1994-95 McGill University, BSW
1990-92 Ryerson School of Journalism, Graduate Program
1987-90 Ryerson Magazine Journalism Certificate Program
1988 Freelance Editors’ Association Editing Seminars
1986-87 University of Toronto, Honours, English Literature
1982-85 University of Western Ontario, BA, English Literature