New supports for Albertans affected by eating disorders have been established

A new support network will establish community-based programming for individuals recovering from an eating disorder

  • Aug. 12, 2014 6:00 a.m.

A new support network will establish community-based programming for individuals recovering from an eating disorder and provide support to their families.

The Alberta government has committed more than $165,000 over three years to the Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta (EDSNA).

“Albertans who are coping with eating disorders often rely on their loved ones for needed support, so we must ensure their families are also supported during long-term recovery. EDSNA is unique in that it will help individuals affected by an eating disorder after they receive clinical treatment. The treatment received in a health facility is just the start of an individual’s journey – we need to offer support after that experience as they begin to rebuild their life with their family.”

Minister of Health Fred Horne

EDSNA is a non-profit community-based support network focusing on an individual’s long-term maintenance of recovery after treatment.

New support groups will be established first in Edmonton and Calgary, and will then be expanded to include locations throughout the province.

The network will focus on providing support in a non-clinical setting to better help individuals and their families return to their regular day-to-day lives.

Services will include:

  • professionally facilitated group programming;
  • education and information sharing;
  • connection with professionals;
  • assistance with long-term recovery and maintenance; and
  • support for caregivers, friends and families.

“As a parent, I experienced a great deal of isolation, fear and confusion when my daughter was battling her eating disorder. Finding support was not easy and I wanted to use my experience to help other families who are facing similar challenges. These support groups will provide families with accurate information, a safe place to share their experience, and an opportunity to connect with others. For individuals who are in a stage of recovery, these support groups will help them stay healthy, find connection with others who understand their journey and reduce relapses.”

Moyra McAllister, founder and president of EDSNA

About one in five Albertans will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, and in a given year, approximately 1.3 per cent of Albertans (2.2 per cent of females) are at risk of an eating disorder, which affects approximately 31,531 Albertans (26,693 females).

 

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