Eating Disorder Awareness Week
One million people out of 37 million.
It's a substantial proportion, isn't it?
It's approximately the proportion of people in Canada who live in the province of Saskatchewan.
It's also the proportion of of people in Canada who are living with an eating disorder.
And many of these people don't get diagnosed or treated. That's scary.
Scary because eating disorders can cause immense suffering. They can cause death.
People who are diagnosed, or at least recognized as experiencing eating- or weight-related distress, often don't receive appropriate care in a timely manner. Relatively few health professionals have the necessary education and training to provide eating disorder-specific treatment. Waitlists for admission into publicly-funded treatment programs – which aren't even available in large swaths of the country – can be several months long. Private treatment is costly, putting it out of reach for many.
In addition, funding for research to understand how eating disorders can be better treated and prevented is scarce.
People with eating disorders can't afford to wait. Their families and carers can't afford to wait.
This is the message being highlighted this Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW), which starts today, February 1. The promotion of EDAW is a collective effort involving organizations across the country, led by a partnership between the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC), National Initiative for Eating Disorders, Canadian Mental Health Association, Body Brave, and the Looking Glass Foundation.
The odds are that someone you care about is living – perhaps in secret – with an eating disorder. So consider acting. There are various quick and simple things you can do to show your support during EDAW. Check out the NEDIC website for ideas.
Let's all act because no-one who is affected by eating disorders can afford to wait.