As part of our awareness mandate, NIED is committed to hosting a regular series of symposia throughout the year. Here, you have the chance to hear from people in the front lines of Eating Disorders. These include clinicians, nutritionists, parents with loved ones struggling with an Eating Disorder, and both recovered and current sufferers.

Workshops are FREE.

Join us!

Our 64th Free Symposium

Eating Disorders in Underrepresented Groups

Monday, December 3, 2018

Doors Open: 7:00 pm
Event: 7:30 – 9:30 pm

A lived-experience panel, moderated by Patti Perry, RN, MSN. NIED Co-Founder & Clinical Advisor.


James Donaldson 

My name is James and I identify as bisexual and as a genderqueer/transgender male. When I’m not working a day job, I write, dance to k-pop, and preform at poetry slams when the opportunity arises. Currently, I’m in recovery for Bulimia and have been at risk for Anorexia in the past. But right now, I’m proud to say I’m moving forward in recovery well, with the help of Hamilton-based clinic Body Brave. I’m speaking at this symposium because I want to awareness about Eating Disorders within transgender individuals. I can’t speak on behalf of everyone, but I’m willing to share my story in the hopes that it will help others.

Michelle Hawrylyshyn

Michelle Hawrylyshyn has life experience with a diagnosed Eating Disorder as a youth and into postpartum life as her role as a young parent. She currently works with young parents in a residential capacity: promoting life skills and mental health for both young parents and their children. Michelle is a Social Service Worker graduate and is currently studying Concurrent Disorders through Mohawk College’s Continuing Education program.

Andrea Northcote

My name is Andrea and I’ve been in recovery, for over 30 years, from severe Anorexia. More important info about me is that I’m 56 years old. I run a book club, do freelance editing and I enjoy being physically active. I’ve lived a full life, so far, and I’m just getting started!!  My body and life appear “recovered” from my skeletal phase but, more importantly, I want to dispel the myth that recovery is about ditching all ED thoughts and behaviours and never looking back. My recovery is an ongoing challenge which I now gratefully embrace, but this has meant learning how to thrive. I’m sharing my story for those who fear coming forward due to not fitting into traditional stereotypes of Eating Disorders.

Michael Van Arragon

As a person in long-term recovery, Michael understands the importance of shaping up community around a shared desire for healthy and purposeful living. Michael will tell you that his Eating Disorder was a result of minimal self-compassion and a sense of meaninglessness…and that this nearly killed him, causing him over a decade of frustration, heartache and poor health. Today, Michael is growing into the person he wishes to be; learning to find purpose in serving his community as an addictions counsellor and volunteer, living in mindfulness and sobriety with curiosity and intensity.

Jay Walker

Jay Walker is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), a Candidate for a Masters in Counselling Psychology (est. Dec 4th, 2018), and an Associate of the Umbrella Mental Health Network. As a therapist, Jay’s areas of specialization are anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, body image, exercise and Eating Disorders, and issues related to LGBTQ2I+ identities and relationships.

Jay struggled with disordered eating and compulsive exercise in his late teens and early 20s. He speaks about the barriers that individuals face in obtaining appropriate help, often related to conceptualizations of sex and gender. Much of his Master’s Degree has been focused on research on the development.

Spring Garden Church

112 Spring Garden Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M2N 3G3
(Free parking off Kenneth Avenue, behind Church)
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For more information, email Wendy Preskow at
Videos of selected previous symposia can be viewed on our You Tube channel.

Looking to host a Symposium in your area? Have a topic you would like to learn more about/discuss/address?
Contact or call Wendy Preskow 416-859-7571