Eating Disorder Awareness Week
Whereas: An Eating Disorder is a serious mental illness with often devastating physical implications;
Whereas: Eating Disorders affect many people in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador;
Whereas: Recovery from an eating disorder is a journey that includes support from families and caregivers;
Whereas: The Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is a leadership advocacy group dedicated to promoting research and providing public support services and information about matters related to eating disorders;
Whereas: February 1-7, 2018 is dedicated across Newfoundland and Labrador and the entire country as a special time when many educational and awareness activities take place to help raise the level of understanding of Eating Disorder Prevention, Treatment and Recovery;
Whereas: The theme for Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018 is “One Size Does Not Fit All”;
Therefore: I, Percy Farwell, Mayor of Gander, do hereby proclaim February 1 to February 7, 2018 be observed as Eating Disorder Awareness Week in the Town of Gander.
A lot of young people, many of whom are not overweight in the first place, want to be thinner. They often try to change the way their body looks by dieting or skipping meals. For some, worries about weight become an obsession. This can turn into a serious eating disorder. The poor nutrition associated with eating disorders can harm organs in the body and, in severe cases, lead to death.
During Eating Disorder Awareness Week from February 1-7, local health care providers are teaming with the Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador to teach members of the public more about serious conditions like Anorexia and Bulimia so more people can reach out for the help they need.
Physicians and mental health professionals can work with families to address the thoughts and behaviours that put young people’s lives at risk. This year the EDFNL was thrilled to hear Minister Haggie announce funding for this province’s first ever inpatient eating disorder unit for adults after many years of lobbying for this necessary part of some people’s treatment. Numerous individuals from Central NL have travelled to St. John’s to participate in the outpatient HOPE program, which includes medical care and counselling. Others have accessed support groups for parents and siblings through teleconference links. Locally, the Foundation has worked with us to provide education to family doctors, as well as other training sessions for teachers, dietitians, therapists and others who have contact with young people who may need assistance.
View the full proclamation here.
You can read more about the work of EDFNL, including efforts to prevent eating disorders through programs in schools and sporting groups to develop positive body image, at www.edfnl.ca.
(Dr. Jill Starkes is Regional Chief of Pediatrics for Central Health, a consultant pediatrician at James Paton Memorial in Gander, and a proud member of the Board of Directors for the Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.)