Judge Warynchuk – Court transcript, Sparwood, BC. “Sparwood, the people who are involved in legal matters in that community, including Mr. Merv Malish and Mr. Halverson and Mr. Corbett, and I include them, I think are showing Canada the light in justice reform. Mr. Malish, Mr. Halverson and Mr. Corbett, I just — I know you don’t want any medals or anything else of the sort for what you’re doing because you’re committed to it and you believe in what you’re doing. You really deserve all the praise and respect and honour that we can give you.
Brent O’Connor Director of Business Development North America at Quintaro. Merv is the definition of the type of individual you would want on your side when having to deal with some of life’s most difficult issues. His keen sight and approach in helping individuals, coupled with the real life struggles of “having lived and coped with the same evils” shows an insight and humanity few counsellors can bring in dealing with the world of addictions. Merv showed our group that with respect and nurturing an individual’s dignity and self respect can be saved one step at a time.
Jas Gill, B.C. Corrections Branch Probation Officer. I would like to provide some feedback for your program. I can honestly say it has been my number one option when referring clients to anger management. There aren’t too many resources in the area for us in the anger management field and we appreciate having you. When asking my clients for feedback in regards to your program, the replies have been extremely positive. I can honestly say almost all of my clients enjoyed the program and a few have asked to go back again.
Rebecca LeBlanc, Probation Officer, Quesnel Community Corrections. I moved to Quesnel last year but I can say with full confidence that my former clients who participated in your program benefited greatly from their inclusion in it. I was often told that they were provided with a sense of belonging and respect combined with the opportunity to disclose personal information without the threat of sanctions. Further, you always made yourself available to clients after they completed the program and offered the option of getting together as long and they required your assistance. Your ability to develop rapport, trust and a safe environment for those that often attend to programming reluctantly is a testament to your skill and devotion to your profession. It was my sincere pleasure to work with you and I thank you for the service that you provided to my former clients.
Randy Shaw, Probation Officer, Surrey East Community Corrections. I’ve had approximately a half dozen clients attend your anger management program over the past 18 months. None failed to complete the program and several were very positive about their experience in the program, some of whom pursued ongoing counseling upon completion. It has been a great resource for medium to low risk clients who are receptive to counseling.
Chris Moore, Probation Officer, Delta/West Surrey Community Corrections. I, as well as many of my Probation colleagues from this office and others, have certainly appreciated all of your efforts over the years to fit our Probation clients into your great program. We have gotten really good feedback from not only our clients but their family members and significant others at the changes they have seen in the men who attend your program. We understand your limitations in taking our clientele due to the fact that MCFD funds this program. We do have some clients who fit under both mandates as they are on Probation AND have MCFD involvement. We do have other anger management counselling options available to us but these programs are not offered as frequently as your program, are too short in duration, or cost significant amounts of money for some clients who may not even be working. Again, your program has been a huge benefit for our clients and while we understand your limitations in accepting them into your program, even just the ability to refer some to your wait-list in the hope that they can get a spot in your program is helpful and appreciated. Thanks for your email and I’m sure we will chat again soon. Take care.
Caroline Gildenstern, Probation Officer, Surrey South Community Corrections. I have referred several clients over to you over the years and I have always has a very positive experience working with you. You respond promptly to my emails and your excellent work ethic shows. More importantly, I have heard great feedback from my clients who have participated in your program. Even the hard-to-please clients, have always said they find you very effective and down to earth. Thanks for all the time and effort you have and continue to put into the program.
Raymond Bertrand, Facilitator at BC COUNCIL on SUBSTANCE ABUSE. Merv and I have shared many collegial discussions in the areas of addictions, anger and historical trauma and dysfunction. we share many of the same passions in working with any and all individuals willing to embrace change in their lives. After personally meeting with Merv, I was impressed with his dedication and passion in this challenging vocation he has embarked upon. I highly recommend Merv Malish in whatever future endeavors he chooses to follow.
“British Columbia Anger Expert” visits our Habitude™Men’s Residence
We have been truly blessed with a great opportunity and want to share it with our Alumni. A gentleman by the name of Merv Malish offered to come to Turning Point’s Habitude™New Men’s Residence, and facilitate an Anger Group for our present and past clients. We had a fantastic groups of guys…. some brand new clients, some a week into the program, and some further along in the program. A few that attended were our alumni guys who made the time to drop in and spend some time with us.
Merv was open and honest and connected with everyone. Although it appeared he was speaking to the group for the 1st time…. we soon realized he was a seasoned speaker and his deep pauses and stories were all very methodical allowing each and every guy to bond with Merv very quickly. Emotions ran deep when he talked about his personal challenges, his missed opportunities, and his gratitude for his life today.
Everyone connected with his journey, and it was impossible not to embrace his new found compassion for life and the lives of others. With over 30 years of recovery under his belt, he still remains humble and grateful for his experiences.
We cannot thank Merv enough for taking the time to share his story with our Habitude™Family. We would also like to share this with you all too.
Neha Huggins, Community-Based Victim Support Worker w/ Surrey RCMP DVU
My name is Neha and I am a victim services worker here in Surrey. We met briefly on January 21, 15 at the Substance Use and Domestic Violence Workshop. I was so incredibly moved by your story and courage. I came and spoke to you briefly afterwards to thank you for your honesty and acknowledge the immense amount of courage and strength that it took for you to tell your story in front of so many people. I am not sure if you will remember me but that it is okay in any case.
This past Sunday, March 8th, SFU hosted a dialogue on DV called Meri Awaaz (which translates into “My Voice” from Punjabi) for International Womens Day. I was graciously invited to be a panelist at this event. Nearing the end of the event a gentlemen from the audience came to microphone to express his thoughts. This man was larger than life at over 6 ft 5 inches and built of a more heavier set. This man was incredible! He spoke so courageously of his own trauma history and his perpetration of violence. He didn’t say his name but he did mention names of people who helped him on his road of rehabilitation. He talked about his positive police experience with an Officer Swallow from Delta PD, Crown Counsel Winston Sayson, and then he mentioned how inspired he was by you….Merv Malish. When I heard your name I felt so privileged to have bared witness to your story and to have had the opportunity to bare witness to this man’s story. I don’t know if you happen to remember who this man is but he was truly remarkable and his story will resonate with me forever, as will yours. Before anybody had a chance to respond to him he left the auditorium because he was overwhelmed with emotion. I don’t know if I will ever have the chance to thank this man but I wanted to share with you that he mentioned you and you played a role in him turning over a positive leaf in his life.
Thank you Merv sincerely for the most incredible work that you do.
Marion Prochnau, YAd’s Program Coordinator.
The YAd’s Program helps multi-barriered employment disadvantaged young adults ages 15 to 30 to develop a broad range of skills, knowledge and work exposure that will lead to a successful transition into the labor market. On March 17/06, Merv presented his life story to our program participants. Merv has the ability to speak with great depth and honesty; communicating the value he has received in sharing the self-reflective transformation of his troubled past. Spoken from a place of experience, Merv relates his step-by step journey with conviction and sensitivity. The YAd’s program participants responded with warmth and acceptance, inviting him to return and ‘hang with them’. They were comfortable in his presence and felt open enough to trust him with their comments and questions. I would not hesitate to invite Merv back again for another round circle, or for him to participate during other projects or events connected with the YAd’s program.