February 1-7 is Eating Disorder Awareness Week
Why it’s important, and where to find local resources.
Celeste Percy-Beauregard, February 03, 2023 // Brantford, OntarioFebruary 1-7 is Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Stock photo.
The first week of February marks Eating Disorder Awareness Week, something that local Registered Dietician Kim Doyle says is more important than ever.
“I think honestly, there's still a lot of stigma around [eating disorders] – about who's getting it, who's impacted. And also, what to do about it,” she says.
Over the course of the pandemic, Kim noted an increase in the number of folks developing disordered eating, but limited local resources for help. “We’re kind of in this desert of publicly-funded services, so that's why I started Brant Nutrition, because I just saw what was happening in our community. And I was like, ‘Well, somebody needs to help them,’” she says.
The nearest publicly-funded (i.e. covered by OHIP) eating disorders clinic is in Hamilton, however there are some virtual services, as well as local private (i.e. paid out of pocket or through private insurance) services.
“Best practice is definitely working with an eating disorder clinic, something like McMaster or Body Brave in Hamilton, where the whole team is together,” says Kim, “But in private settings, I typically work in tandem with a psychotherapist or psychologist.”
There are many local resources offering recovery support. Stock photo.
If you or someone you know needs support, check out these area resources recommended by Kim.
*If you or someone you know is restrictive to the point of avoiding fluids, Kim recommends going directly to ER.
National Eating Disorder Information Centre – Canadian resources, referrals and support.
Public Services: These services are often by referral of family health providers, and could be covered by OHIP.
McMaster Children’s Hospital Eating Disorder Program – Inpatient, day hospital, and outpatient programs in Hamilton for children and youth.
Body Brave – Eating disorder treatment centre in Hamilton, with virtual programs and services for ages 14+.
Sick Kids Eating Disorders Program – Treatment program for youth aged 8-18.
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Eating Disorders Program – An outpatient program in Hamilton for folks 16+.
Homewood Health Centre Eating Disorders Program – An inpatient treatment program outside the hospital setting in Guelph for adults 16+.
Toronto General Hospital Intensive Eating Disorders Program – An inpatient treatment program for folks 17+ with moderate to extremely severe eating disorders. An intensive virtual outpatient treatment program is also available.
Private Services: These are services you can contact directly, but are paid out of pocket (private insurance may cover some or all of these services.)
Kim Doyle, Brant Nutrition – A local Registered Dietician with a specialized focus as an Eating Disorders Dietician.
Dr. Kim Sunseth, Registered Clinical Psychologist – A local psychologist with eating disorders experience.
Holistic Healing Psychotherapy – A local psychotherapist with eating disorders experience.
Mindful Path Counselling – A local team of Social Workers and Psychotherapists, some of whom have eating disorders experience.
Qualia Counselling Services – A local team of Clinical Social Workers and Psychotherapists, some of whom have eating disorders experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Celeste Percy-Beauregard’s first form of storytelling was as an actor, and her eager curiosity and interest in a variety of subjects led her to writing. Her work has appeared in Toronto Star and Today’s Parent, and she is enjoying exploring Brantford and learning about the people and places that make it such a special city.
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