Join NIED in supporting the EDAW 2021 Brave Letters campaign to demand support for people affected by Eating Disorders.
Nearly 3 million Canadians meet the diagnostic criteria for an Eating Disorder, the deadliest of all mental illnesses, and thousands more struggle without a diagnosis. Eating Disorders do not discriminate. This devastating mental illness impacts people of all genders, ages, and circumstances, and has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased need in services due to isolation.
We need action now. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced extraordinary challenges for not only people with Eating Disorders, but their family, friends, and the healthcare professionals who are struggling to serve them, given limited resources in our communities and nationally. Community-based treatment has been proven to lead to improved health outcomes. By reducing social isolation and the strain put on family/caregivers, reducing hospitalization, supporting sustainable recovery, and preventing Eating Disorders, community-based support saves lives.
With your help, we can change things. Send a letter to your local, provincial, and federal politicians. Speak up for the people who can’t advocate for themselves.
Since 1988, when NEDIC became the national coordinator for EDAW, they, along with other groups across the country, slowly started to officially recognize EDAW. Today, the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and now Ontario have all proclaimed EDAW.
MPP Andrew, a long-time supporter of the National Eating Disorders Information Centre (NEDIC) and co-founder of Body Confidence Canada, an organization that advocates for equitable and inclusive images, messages, practices and policies supporting body diversity said, “EDAW will help bring attention to the diversity of people who experience Eating Disorders, including Black, and racialized women and girls, queer people, transgender people, disabled people and fat people.”
EDAW is a collective effort from coast-to-coast engaging organizations to host local events, light prominent landmarks in the colour purple, and participate in public education campaigns about Eating Disorders.
Building on EDAW’s previous year’s theme “Eating Disorders Can’t Afford to Wait”, this year’s primary message is “What Happened While We Waited?”. The week will literally and figuratively shine a light on the nuances of the current times — the negative and positive implications of the pandemic — while also holding space for those who have been waiting a very long time for the care they need and deserve.
NIED’s co-founder Wendy Preskow, and NEDIC’s program manager Suzanne Phillips both agree that the proclamation of EDAW every year in Ontario from February 1-7, was a fantastic moment for Eating Disorder advocacy in the province. “It felt like everybody’s hard work was recognized…and individuals who are impacted by Eating Disorders had what they rightfully deserve, which is recognition. It’s a first step, and I think it was a very necessary good first step to give us the energy to keep going.”
For a link to the full story on the proclamation, visit www.nied.ca. For further information about EDAW and a complete list of events, please visit www.nedic.ca. For information about NIED and the work it does on behalf of those challenged by Eating Disorders, please contact:
For further information, please contact: Lynne Koss Co-Founder/Vice President National Initiative for Eating Disorders – NIED www.nied.ca
Listen to CBC’s Ottawa Morning with Robyn Bresnahan segment on Eating Disorders and COVID, that aired January 20, 2021
The children’s hospital CHEO has seen a spike in youth with Eating Disorders since the pandemic began. Here, Robyn Bresnahan interviews Ottawa psychologist, Dr Shari Mayman, Co-Director, Anchor Psychological Services, about the connection between COVID and eating disorders.
NIED launches new educational programs to improve well-being and recovery from Eating Disorders
(Thursday, November 5, 2020) After extensive consultation and development, the National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED) is launching NIEDucation – three programs to improve people’s well-being and recovery from Eating Disorders. This announcement coincides with the one-year anniversary launch of the Canadian Eating Disorders Strategywhich outlined the importance and need for evidence-based educational programs to help meet persistent, unmet needs and overcome specific barriers identified by stakeholders. Given the lack of awareness about Eating Disorders and lack of high-quality training related to Eating Disorders in Canada, NIED’s new education programs aim to give primary care providers, caregivers and specialists practical skills, which are seldom taught formally but are associated with better experiences with care and stronger chances of recovery. NIEDucation provides learners with evidence-based and evidence-informed knowledge about how to collaborate and how to communicate.
NIEDucation programs support one or more primary audiences (i.e. people at risk / people with Eating Disorders; caregivers of people with Eating Disorders; primary care providers and Eating Disorders specialists; and/or professionals and providers involved in care, support and recovery related to Eating Disorders. NIEDucation programs include NIED Communication, NIED Collaborationand NiED Connections, all of which will be disseminated first as informational resources, and eventually, as online courses on www.eatingdisordersu.org. Also, starting in 2021, NIED will begin development of a 4th program, NIED Quality – to identify and outline the standards that must exist in Canada’s health and social services systems specifically aimed at supporting recovery from Eating Disorders. NIED Quality will create Canada’s first set of quality dimensions, discussed and refined by stakeholders.
Many resources and standards explain ‘what to do’ to support better communication or collaboration in care, but few, if any, resources clearly explain ‘how to effectively implement these standards’ in different settings, with different people and in different situations. NIEDucation programs are hoping to rectify this situation. Learning how to apply various communication collaboration and connections skills during very different, individual recovery journeys takes patience, good training and adaptability.
For more information about NIED and NIEDucation, please visit www.nied.ca.
NIED is delighted to announce the appointment of Ms. Michelle D’Amico as NIED’s new Executive Director.
Michelle will serve as the executive advisor to the President and co-founders of NIED. She will be responsible for co-developing and overseeing the management and implementation of NIED’s Strategic Plan. She will also provide vision, expertise and the leadership needed to strengthen NIED’s engagement with stakeholders across Canada.
NIED launches two exciting initiatives to coincide with the 4th annual World Eating Disorders Action Day, Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
(Monday, June 1, 2020) – #ShareYourStory presents an opportunity to share personal stories of those with lived experience with Eating Disorders. The National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED) has created “how to” guidelines to help you share your story. We want to hear stories from anyone and everyone touched by Eating Disorders including caregivers, loved ones, individuals with Eating Disorders and healthcare professionals. Because “Eating Disorders Can’t Afford to Wait”, we hope your stories will inspire meaningful conversations and a deeper understanding of Eating Disorders – the deadliest of all mental illnesses.
On June 2nd, NIED will also launch the NIED Blog, written by Hilary Thomson, a writer and journalist who is currently in recovery after struggling with anorexia for 15 years. The blog is another action to further NIED’s mission to provide useful recovery tips, interviews with people with Eating Disorders from diverse backgrounds, knowledgeable Eating Disorder treatment professionals and advocates. Most importantly, the blog offers the opportunity to interact with readers by encouraging questions, sharing ideas and providing constructive feedback.
NIED is the voice for Canadian families, caregivers, and individuals who are affected by Eating Disorders and other co-morbid and concurrent diagnoses. NIED helps caregivers, patients, and practitioners fill gaps in care through education and by highlighting better practices in prevention, health promotion, and treatment.
Letters about OHIP funding for outpatient psychotherapy
Here is a preview of their content…
…our deep concern over a proposal being considered by the Ministry of Health and Ontario Medical Association (OMA) Appropriateness Working Group (AWG) to limit full OHIP funding for outpatient psychotherapy to 24 hours per year.
For many patients, psychotherapy is medically necessary. Treatment decisions must be left up to a person’s primary care provider and care team, particularly when providing medical care to a person diagnosed with a mental illness, whose recovery journey is not one-size-fit-all.
Reducing outpatient psychotherapy to 24 hours per year is at-best arbitrary and fails to recognize that people with serious mental illness, and particularly Eating Disorders, may have disease trajectories (we know from research) that are difficult to predict.
NIED’s Wendy Preskow to be the next LivedExperience Conversation Series guest speaker.
On January 30, 2020, NIED founder and president, Wendy Preskow, will give her lived experience insights on the topic:
Family Life and Living with an Eating Disorder: One Caregiver’s Journey from Awareness to Action.
Wendy will be in conversation with Dr. Linda Booij, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Concordia University Research Chair in Eating Disorders. Dr. Booij is also co-director of the Centre for Clinical Research in Health (CCRH), who host the LivedExperience Conversation Series.
The event will be sponsored by the Health Initiative at Concordia University and held at the University’s Loyola Chapel.