About Us

An Overview of Brain Connections

The story of Brain Connections, as told by Deirdre:

“The Brain Connections project began in 2015 when Iris visited me and my team at the City of Hamilton’s Alcohol, Drug & Gambling Services for the first time. She had a new gambling research lab at the Peter Boris Centre (St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton) and she asked if there was anything she could do for us. It is rare for problem gambling counsellors to get such an offer from a researcher, so we happily told her what would really make a difference in our clinical practice: high quality accessible handouts about the brain and problem gambling.

We explained to Iris that in our work, we often get questions about how gambling affects the brain. For example:

Why do I gamble when it isn’t fun anymore?

I hate gambling but I keep going… why can’t I stop?

Will I just switch addictions if I quit gambling?

We had been doing our best to answer these questions, but we were relying on a patchwork of information from conferences, other counsellors, clients and books. We all agreed that what was needed was understandable, evidence-informed responses that could be widely shared. 

This is how Brain Connections was born. With two grants from the Gambling Research Exchange of Ontario (GREO), we created five handouts and an accompanying video.

We hope that you find the information presented on this website helpful.

If you have any questions or comments you wish to share, please do not hesitate to reach out through the ‘Contact Us’ tab.”

Iris Balodis, PhD

Assistant Professor,

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences
Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University

100 West 5th Street
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
L8N 3K7

tel: (905) 522-1155, ext. 39703
email: balodisi@mcmaster.ca

Deirdre Querney, MSW

Registered Social Worker and

Certified Problem Gambling Counsellor

Alcohol, Drug & Gambling Services
City of Hamilton, Public Health Services

21 Hunter Street East, 3rd floor
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

tel: (905) 546-2424 ext. 3614
email: deirdre.querney@hamilton.ca