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So far Richard Ponsonby has created 25 blog entries.

Join NIED in supporting the EDAW 2021 Brave Letters campaign

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.


Join NIED in supporting the EDAW 2021 Brave Letters campaign2021-02-01T16:52:11-05:00

Bill 61 passes proclaiming Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW)

Bill 61 passes proclaiming Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) in Ontario first week of February

In 2018, when Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto-St. Paul’s first championed Bill 61, to get Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) proclaimed officially in Ontario, it didn’t make it through the house. Thanks to her tenacity, and over many years, that of the co-founders of National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED)Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association (BANA) and the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC), Bill 61 passed unanimously on December 3, 2020, proclaiming Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Ontario February 1st – 7th.

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
Twitter: @nied_ca
Facebook: www.facebook.com/niedcanada 

Read BANA’s online magazine honouring EDAW 2021

Bill 61 passes proclaiming Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW)2021-02-01T16:57:11-05:00

Listen to CBC’s Ottawa Morning with Robyn Bresnahan segment on Eating Disorders and COVID, that aired January 20, 2021

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.

Listen now

Listen to CBC’s Ottawa Morning with Robyn Bresnahan segment on Eating Disorders and COVID, that aired January 20, 20212021-01-26T12:17:29-05:00

NIED Press Release

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 Strategy which 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 Collaboration and NiED Connectionsall 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.


For further information, contact:  

For further information, please contact:

Lynne Koss (she/her)
Co-Founder/Vice President
National Initiative for Eating Disorders – NIED
Twitter: @nied_ca
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/niedcanada
Instagram:  @nied_ca
416 843-3496
NIED Press Release2020-11-11T09:43:15-05:00

NIED’s new Executive Director

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.

Announcement letter from NIED’s Chairman

NIED’s new Executive Director2020-10-14T10:55:00-04:00

NIED launches two exciting initiatives

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.

NIED launches two exciting initiatives2020-06-02T10:15:13-04:00

OHIP funding for outpatient psychotherapy

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.

Here are the letters

Read letter to Hon Christine Elliot, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Read letter to Hon. Michael A. Tibollo, Associate Minister of mental Health and Addictions

Read letter to Dr. Joshua Tepper, Appropriateness Working Group C0-Chair, OMA

Read letter to Dr. Paul Tenenbein, Appropriateness Working Group Co-Chair, OMA

OHIP funding for outpatient psychotherapy2020-05-28T21:08:15-04:00

Lived Experience Conversation Series

NIED’s Wendy Preskow to be the next Lived Experience 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 Lived Experience Conversation Series.

The event will be sponsored by the Health Initiative at Concordia University and held at the University’s Loyola Chapel.  

Full details can be found here

Lived Experience Conversation Series2020-05-28T21:09:24-04:00

Canadian Eating Disorders Strategy

National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED) announces Canada’s first Strategy dedicated to improving outcomes related to Eating Disorders

(November 7, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario) – NIED joins three national not-for-profits in releasing Canada’s first strategy aimed at improving outcomes for people affected by Eating Disorders (EDs) over the next 10 years.

Following the publication of a report entitled[1] Eating Disorders among Girls and Women in Canada by the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women on November 17, 2014, four national organizations dedicated to supporting care for and recovery from Eating Disorders came together in 2015 to discuss how to meaningfully improve outcomes for people living with EDs in Canada.

The Canadian Eating Disorders Strategy: 2019-2029 is the result of extensive work and listening carefully to stakeholders across Canada in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, through direct conversations and surveys targeted at the general public, professionals, caregivers and people with lived experience.

The Strategy contains 50 recommendations under six pillars of activity: 1) Prevention; 2) Public Education and Awareness; 3) Treatment; 4) Caregiver Support; 5) Training; and 6) Research.

Wendy Preskow, President of NIED, remarked, “When we started this journey seven years ago as a national not-for-profit, we could never imagined stakeholders from across Canada coming together to provide insights about what has worked well for them or their loved ones; what challenges they experienced in trying to access evidence-based and evidence-informed care; and what different stakeholders need to do to improve outcomes for people at-risk and people recovering from an Eating Disorder or related mental illness.  We are extremely grateful for the input we have received to this Strategy, from hundreds of stakeholders over the last five years”.

In addition to providing a snapshot of the current state of Eating Disorders in Canada, the Strategy also aims to respond to what we heard from a wide-range of stakeholders, including people in recovery, caregivers, family members, professionals and providers, each of whom identified gaps in research, education, care and support about and for Eating Disorders in Canada.

NIED recognizes that the publication of this Strategy is only a first, but crucial step to identifying practical ways in which diverse stakeholders can work together to leverage recent, historic investments in mental health and mental illness by all levels of government.  NIED expects that the implementation of the Strategy’s recommendations, over time, will improve health care, social services and supports for individuals and will lead to better methods of preventing illness, promoting better health and supporting recovery from Eating Disorders.

Mark Ferdinand, Executive Director of NIED, added, “This 10-year Strategy provides us all with a blueprint to co-develop local as well as pan-Canadian actions that will make a difference in so many people’s lives: from professionals who want to increase their confidence and knowledge about how to best prevent or treat an Eating Disorder; to administrators and policy makers who have been updating national mental health and primary healthcare standards aimed at improving communication between care teams and family members.”

NIED will use this first Strategy to expand its dialogue with stakeholders and refine specific recommendations prior to their implementation.  NIED will also develop action plans over the next three years aimed at implementing select recommendations in support of NIED’s educational mission.

About NIED

NIED uses education to help people cope with the effects of Eating Disorders. We develop and deliver educational, informational and other recovery-oriented resources related to the prevention and treatment of Eating Disorders and related mental illnesses.  Through education, NIED highlights better practices in prevention, health promotion, and treatment, and empowers caregivers, healthcare professionals, and social services providers support recovery from Eating Disorders.

To consult the Strategy, please visit https://nied.ca/canadian-eating-disorders-strategy/

For further information about the Strategy, please contact:

Mark Ferdinand,
Chairman and Executive Director,
National Initiative for Eating Disorders

[1] Standing Committee on the Status of Women (2014), Eating Disorders among Girls and Women in Canada. Accessed September 10, 2019. https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/41-2/FEWO/report-4.

Download Press Release

To read the Strategy in English and French, click here

Canadian Eating Disorders Strategy2020-05-28T21:09:51-04:00

Body Peace Virtual Conference

Early registration open for first-ever three-day virtual conference on Body Image and Eating Disorders

(July 3, 2019 – Toronto) Non-profit organizations Body Brave and the National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED) have teamed up to present Body Peace 2019 – a first-of-its kind body image and eating disorders virtual conference taking place from October 4 to 6 this year. The theme for this year’s conference is Lived Experience is Evidence Too. Early bird registration for the conference is NOW open until July 30.

The Body Peace 2019 conference, hosted on the virtual platform Zoom, is designed to challenge barriers, embolden conversation, and equip people with the tools needed to create lasting change in their lives.

The conference will feature accredited training sessions for healthcare professionals including dietitians, family physicians and social workers, panel discussions, keynote speakers, live chats and much more. The three areas of primary focus are innovation, representation, and collaboration. The Innovation segment will highlight innovative clinical and non-clinical approaches, fresh ideas, and new perspectives in the realm of body image and disordered eating. The Representation module will feature the powerful and diverse voices of those with lived experience, caregivers, and clinicians. Day three will focus on Collaboration and the myriad ways we can all collaborate to break down stigma and promote empowering approaches to healing. Many topics will be discussed over the three days that range from “Eating Disorders and sexuality”, “treatment for adults”, disabilities and Eating Disorders”, “trauma and shame” and “Eating Disorder hell to recovered and well”.

Body Peace is a non-profit conference. All proceeds from ticket sales go directly to meeting conference costs and to supporting those struggling with eating disorders through the work of Body Brave and NIED.

All tickets give participants access to live and pre-recorded sessions from Oct 4-6. Once you register, you will receive a link with all the information about how to access the conference and reminder emails. To register for Body Peace conference and for more info and prices, please visit https://livingbodybrave.com/bodypeace.

Body Brave’s mission is to plan and deliver innovative local and national services that address the major gaps in resources for eating disorders, in collaboration with those with lived experience and our community partners. Body Brave also works to create a bold national recovery-focused, inclusive community, committed to body liberation as well as raising awareness and reducing stigma around disordered eating and/or eating disorders.

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.

For more information, contact:

Lynne Koss (she/her)
Co-Founder/Vice President
National Initiative for Eating Disorders – NIED
Twitter: @nied_ca
416 843-3496

Erin Huston
Body Peace Conference Coordinator
Body Brave
Live Brave Live Full Live Wise
Website: www.livingbodybrave.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bodybravecanada
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bodybravecanada
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bodybravecanada

Download Press Release

Body Peace Virtual Conference2019-08-27T10:01:36-04:00
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