Centre for Clinical Interventions This Australian resource provides accessible and useful information on issues related to Eating Disorders and its online workbook includes two specific Eating Disorder modules. www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/consumers.cfm
Journey of Embodiment at the Intersection of Body and Culture. The Developmental Theory of Embodiment.Dr. Niva Piran, Ph.D., is Professor, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at OISE/University of Toronto. Her book provides a new perspective on the interactions between the social environment of girls and women of different social locations and their embodied experience of engagement with the world around them. View Flyer
Shell. One Woman’s Final Year After a Lifelong Struggle with Anorexia and Bulimia. Michelle Stewart, the author of Michelle’s Voice blog, passed on in 2014. Shell is a compilation of her blogs that put a compelling and intimate face to the disease. Click on the link to watch Kirk Mason and Karen Flello talk to Global News about Michelle Stewart’s story and her poetic memoir about experiencing a terminal illness. Watch the video
The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents. Kids as young as five are dying to be “perfect” and fit in. Parents are feeling powerless. This book helps them both. By Marci Warhaft-Nadler http://www.fitvsfiction.com
Suicide and anorexia promotion sites must be addressed in online safety bill, parents and child-protection experts say.
By Marie Woolf, Globe and Mail, published March 30, 2023.
Websites and online forums promoting suicide and eating disorders should fall within the scope of the federal government’s forthcoming online safety bill, argue parents and child-protection experts who say the sites target the most vulnerable.
They want Ottawa to force platforms to remove online forums offering advice on suicide methods and to crack down on “pro-ana” and “thin-spiration” sites that encourage anorexia and other eating disorders by glorifying being extremely underweight.
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez is expected to table the bill, designed to tackle online hate and abuse, this year.
Lianna McDonald, the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and a member of an expert panel appointed by Mr. Rodriguez to determine which issues to address with the bill, said sites glorifying eating disorders and suicide are costing young people their lives and need to be “captured under the legislation.”
“The other night I went on a call with two parents – just heartbreaking cases. In both cases their children had died by suicide,” Ms. McDonald said. “These platforms are actively serving up this type of harmful material. We’ve heard from families where their kids are essentially trapped by these algorithms.”
Many platforms already take down and block pro-ana sites – which include chatrooms and message boards where young women, in particular, post and compare photos of their emaciated physiques and offer tips on how to lose weight and stay drastically thin.
But after being taken down, such sites are often reposted under different hashtags or on different platforms.
The Globe and Mail located a number of them, including several on the social-networking site Tumblr, which it took down after being approached for comment.
Nicole Legg, who researches eating disorders at the University of Victoria and is a counsellor for people with such disorders, said pro-ana sites can reinforce behaviours of young women who already have body image issues.
The Globe also easily found a pro-suicide forum, where people encourage each other to take their own lives, even offering advice on how to do it. One post on Thursday said: “I think I just ate my very last meal.”
Isabella, whose 21-year old son, Jaden, killed himself after visiting the suicide forum in early 2021, said the site needs to be taken down and the men behind it prosecuted.
The Globe is not naming the site to avoid promoting it. Its moderators did not respond to a request for comment.
Isabella – The Globe is not revealing her full name to protect her privacy – described her only son as “a poster boy for the first 20 years of his life.” He was suffering from depression during the pandemic, when he could not see his friends or play the sports he enjoyed. He visited the forum and killed himself after being encouraged and coached there to do so, she said.
“He was in a deep depression and was maybe online searching for answers,” she said. “They normalize suicides for people. They normalized it – they gave him specific instructions,” according to screenshots she took of conversations Jaden had on the site.
She wants the online safety bill to tackle the suicide site, which is banned in some jurisdictions but not in Canada or the United States. It is still active, and the names of the men running it are known, but they have not been charged, she said.
“So I feel like my son’s murdered and they’re sitting there at their computers right now doing the same thing. Nothing, nothing is stopping them.”
Google said its automated systems are designed to stop people from being exposed unexpectedly to harmful or shocking content.
“If people come to Google to search for information about self-harm, they see features promoting prevention hotlines that can provide critical help and support,” said Shay Purdy, a Google spokesman. “We also block Autocomplete predictions for those searches. We balance these safeguards with our commitment to give people open access to information.”
A search for the suicide site on Google did indeed turn up helplines for people considering suicide, as well as the website of Canada’s Centre for Suicide Prevention.
Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, said it also had policies striking a balance between stopping people from seeing sensitive or upsetting content and giving them spaces to talk about their experiences. It said experts had advised the company that removing content about suicide and eating disorders could make people feel even more isolated.
It said it always removes content that encourages suicide, self-harm and eating disorders or offers suicide methods or instructions for drastic weight loss.
Tumblr declined requests for comment.
Laura Scaffidi, Mr. Rodriguez’s spokeswoman, said “the status quo is unacceptable and what happens online doesn’t stay online. It has real impacts on our children and in our communities.”
“We will work collaboratively and constructively with platforms on this important issue,” she added.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868
or Crisis Service Canada at 1-833-456-4566, or visit crisisservicescanada.ca.
New Quality Standard from Ontario Health on Eating Disorders.
Launched on March 7, 2023 Eating Disorders are severe illnesses with significant medical and mental health complications and can be difficult to treat. The quality standard addresses high-quality care for people of all ages with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge-eating disorder, focusing on people with Eating Disorders and their families and caregivers.
Please download and share this quality standard with your networks.
“As an Eating Disorder survivor who relapsed badly over the pandemic, I’m finally standing up and speaking out.”
Read Chloë Grande’s inspiring story of relapse and recovery, first published in the Toronto Star on July 5, 2022. Read the article
“Our System is Failing Youth with Eating Disorders.”
Read Natalya Anderson’s profound article that was posted to Postmedia’s “Healthing” site on November 17, 2021. In the article, that includes quotes from NIED founder Wendy Preskow, Natalya passionately lays out why the system is failing youth with Eating Disorders. Read the article
Watch a D-Talks podcast episode featuring a must-see conversation with an Eating Disorder lived-experience young adult.
D-Talks – a conversation about mental health and addiction is a podcast series by MPP Hon. Michael A. Tibollo (Vaughan—Woodbridge), Ontario’s Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. In this 5th episode, Associate Minister Tibollo has a frank and meaningful conversation with Erin, an Eating Disorder lived-experience young adult. Watch now
Watch Elaine Stevenson’s interview on CTV News Winnipeg’s Morning Live regarding the spike in Eating Disorders among kids and teens due to the COVID pandemic.
With pandemic stress driving a spike in Eating Disorders among kids and teenagers, Elaine Stevenson of the Alyssa Stevenson Eating Disorders Memorial Trust talks to CTV’s Nicole Dubé on the early warning signs parents should look for. First broadcast on February 2, 2021. Watch now
Read the Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association (BANA) magazine “BANA Be Yourself” edition honouring Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) 2021.
Their second issue features an interview with NDP MPP Jill Andrew – sponsor of Bill 61: Eating Disorders Awareness Week, an introduction to the National Initiative for Eating Disorders, and an amazing first hand story and everything you need to know about EDAW. Read the online magazine
Read “Still Standing,” Judy Krasna’s inspirational post on the F.E.A.S.T. (the global support & education community of and for parents of those with Eating Disorders). Read the article
Read Wency Leung’s article on the release of the Canadian Eating Disorders Strategy: Globe and Mail, November 7, 2019. Read the article
Read the UK House of Commons follow-up report: Ignoring the Alarms – Too many avoidable deaths from Eating Disorders. Read the Report
Listen to Anita Federici, PhD, C.Psych. giving a radio interview on CFRB Newstalk 1010 on her petition “My Patient is Dying and We Can’t Access Treatment.” Listen Here
Eating Disorder sufferer creates brutally honest illustrations of her disease. Read the Buzz Feed article on Christie Begnell’s visual representation of her Eating Disorder. Read the article
“I saw food as the enemy”: Article in the Ottawa Citizen on radio host Katherine Dines. Read how Katherine Dines is now speaking out publicly about the Eating Disorder she his for years. Read the article
Eating Disorder Research gets a new direction. Read the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) post about the UK National Institute for Health Research-supported initiative to set a 10-point agenda for Eating Disorders research. Read the article
Strategizing for Change: A review of the 2016 EDAC 2016 Conference. Read Andrea LaMarre’s Science of Eating Disorderspost on the 2016 conference held in Winnipeg, Manitoba September 28, 29 & 30. Read the review
UK teenagers with Eating Disorders must be seen by a specialist doctor within a month. Read about former British Prime Minister David Cameron’s initiative to trigger a revolution in mental health treatment in the UK. Read article
UK group invests £320,000 (over CAD$660,000!) for a new Eating Disorders service for young people aged eight to 18. Read how the enlightened Hull and East Riding Clinical Commissioning Groups are investing in a new service launched after a sudden spike in the number of young people admitted to hospital. Read article
How Monitoring Your Child’s Growth Chart Could Help Prevent an Eating Disorder. Read Lauren Muhlheim’s informative article on warning signs and early intervention. Read article
How are colleges and universities helping students with Eating Disorders? Watch this informative Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) webinar that looked at how to best support a student who may have an Eating Disorder. The presenters are Debbie Berlin-Romalis, BSW, MSW, RSW, Social Worker/Psychotherapist, Executive Director, Sheena’s Place. Lauren Drouillard, MSW, RSW, Social Worker, Program Manager, Sheena’s Place. Coti Maclaughlin-Grant, 2nd Year student, Child and Youth Work Program. Created on January 28, 2015, the webinar is part of EENet’s “Ask the Experts” series. Link to the webinar here
XX in Health – Canadian Women Changing Health – Wendy Preskow, founder of NIED, included in the first annual list of Canadian Women Changing Healthcare that spotlights women who are changing the face of healthcare. http://patientcommando.com/stories/Wendy-Preskow/
Download NIED’s special booklet Understanding Starts Here that includes sections on Eating Disorder Recovery, Approaching Someone with an Eating Disorder, Tips for Parents, Families, Spouses & Significant Others and Resources.