Eating disorders – such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are an epidemic that effect up to 30 million people a year, with Anorexia being the third most common chronic illness among adolescents.
This year, National Eating Disorder Awareness Week was February 1-February 7th.
This week of awareness is meant to clear up common myths and misconceptions about the mental illness and kill the stigma surrounding them.
London offers a lot of support for victims of eating disorders including Hopes Garden, a non for profit organization that provides supports and resources to those struggling with and affected by Eating Disorders. Natasha Newby is the Executive Director for Hopes Garden and says, “Eating disorders do not discriminate, they don’t care what your sex is, your sexual preference or what your age is. We have individuals coming in for support from the ages of 18 to 65, male or female.”
Other services include the London Health Sciences Center’s Adult Eating Disorder Services, as well as their Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care Program.
The National Eating Disorder Information Centre or NEDIC is a Canadian non-profit organization offering info and resources on eating disorders, they started a hash tag called #talkingsaveslives to get the conversation started. NEDIC works hard to clear the misconceptions of eating disorders and eliminate the myths associated with them.
To get involved with some of the services London offers for support, The LHSC provides a referral form on their website and both them and Hopes Garden are open weekdays.