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Mental Health

Eating Disorder Resource Centre of BC

Patricia O'Hagen, PhD

Reprinted from "Eating Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2002, No. 16, p. 36

Mission

The Eating Disorder Resource Centre of BC (EDRCBC) is a non-profit organization with the goal of prevention and education of anorexia and bulimia nervosa, compulsive eating, chronic restrained eating, weight and body consciousness, and unhealthy body weight. Youth, women and men are welcome to join us. The mission of EDRCBC is to provide services, resources, education programs and skills training for our clients by staff and volunteers. Our clients can be categorized into three groups:

  • those struggling with disordered eating, their family and friends

  • professionals working in disordered eating and related issues, and

  • community groups, students, and those interested in the area.

The Centre’s long-term goal is to become the National/International Prevention Research Centre in Disordered Eating.

Philosophy

Our philosophy is that disordered eating is understood from a multi-determined model that includes genetic, biological, individual, sociocultural factors. Those disordered eating behaviours are expressed by youth, men and women in a range of ways, from obesity and compulsive eating, to anorexia and bulimia nervosa. We emphasize social change and social action based on prevention and educational awareness. These actions focus on our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours that affect our health and social relationships in society, school, workplace, family, and peer groups, including:

  • body consciousness (body image, shape and size),

  • weight consciousness (obesity, calorie counting, over-exercising, weight scales, dieting, and fat phobia) „

  • the pursuit of thinness (associated with autonomy, achievement and self-control).

Our Services

  1. The Provincial Directory of professionals working in the area of disordered eating. Call us to find a support group, program, workshop or professional (e.g., a psychologist, doctor, and counsellor) in your community.

  2. Resource counselling is provided at our library, and by fax, email or phone. Receive personal support and short-term assistance for referrals and information.

  3. Provincial media campaigns to increase awareness of disordered eating.

  4. Provincial community outreach and educational programs for all school levels and ages from elementary through university.

    • We are implementing Preventing Disordered Eating: A Manual to Promote Best Practices for Working with Children, Youth, Families and Communities. This manual is a two-year collaborative project with the BC Ministry of Health Services and the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and the Prevention Advisory Committee of the BC Provincial Eating Disorders Program.

    • The prevention manual includes the most current research and best practice strategies in prevention. The manual is going to be adopted by the Australian Medical Director for Eating Disorders.

    • Our program is based on implementation of the prevention manual and is provided by Dr. Patricia O’Hagan, staff, community professionals and volunteers.

    • The programs are developed based on availability and our clients’ needs.

Other Initiatives

  • A pilot study, being carried out this fall on the prevention play Insectable Delectables, to be presented by selected grade 6 classes to students in grades 1 through 4.

  • A joint education project with the province of Alberta on prevention and body image to be piloted throughout the elementary and secondary schools of BC and Alberta.

  • Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Development and delivery of educational events during the awareness-raising week in February of each year.

  • Library services including information packages, videos, books, and professional journals on topics specific to a client’s needs.

  • EDRCBC Volunteer Training Program. Create projects or help us with ongoing programs.

  • Practicum student placement for those in their final year of a counselling degree.

  • Newsletter led by volunteers, community members, and staff who provide the content by submitting articles, events and services.

  • Co-morbidity Provincial Advisory Committee, including practitioners from Addictions and Eating Disorders. This committee is conducting a pilot study of an eight week support group for clients struggling with alcohol/drug addictions and disordered eating. The support group is a joint study between Addictions Services of Ministry of Health Services and the Eating Disorder Resource Centre of BC. The group will meet at the Addictions Services Facilities and begins mid-October. Contact EDRCBC for more information at (604) 806-9000 or toll-free at 1- 800-665-1822, via email at edrcbc@direct.ca or on the web at www.disorderedeating.ca.

 
About the author
Patricia is the Director of the Eating Disorder Resource Centre of BC

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