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Helping Families Cope with an Eating Disorder

February 11, 2010

Helping Families Cope With An Eating Disorder
(Toronto, ON February 1, 2010) Reports show that of all Canadians 15 years and older, 2.8% of women are at risk of an eating disorder, and 1.7% in total (men and women) are at risk. From February 1-7, groups across Canada will come together to commemorate Eating Disorder Awareness Week. The purpose of this weeklong event is to educate the public on eating disorders and body dissatisfaction, and raise awareness about the societal and cultural factors that contribute to Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, and other eating disorders.

According to Penny Lawson, Manager of Family Services and Special Programs at Bellwood Heath Services, this is an important opportunity not only for recovering patients, but also for their friends and family members to speak up about their experiences in coping with the eating disorder of a loved one. The debilitating effects of alcohol and drug addictions on the family are generally well-known; however, when it comes to eating disorders, people remain less aware of the disruptive familial effects, states Lawson. Often family members require just as much support as the patient in order to be a strong and positive force throughout the recovery period. Bellwood encourages the family members of recovering patients to take Eating Disorder Awareness Week as an opportunity to open up to others about the personal changes necessary to create a positive healing environment; for instance, getting educated on eating disorders, developing patience and compassion, and especially taking time to attend to ones own physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.

The Bellwood staff is committed to helping family members foster a warm and supportive recovery environment. In addition to the care, counselling, and support provided by an experienced team of doctors, nurses, and therapists, Bellwood is a leader in providing education and awareness on eating disorders. A recently launched innovative new website includes many educational resources for individuals, families, healthcare professionals, and workplaces, as well as newsletters, press releases, and event-related information. Bellwood also offers educational workshops for families, employers, and healthcare professionals to learn about eating disorders, intervention strategies, and treatment options.

Bellwood Health Services, an accredited Toronto-based addiction treatment facility, recently celebrated 25 years of providing quality programs and services for the treatment of alcohol and drug addictions, problem gambling, compulsive sexual behaviour, and eating disorders.

For further information, contact Julie Bowles at 416-495-0926 or 1-800-387-6198, ext. 315.


For more information contact:
Julie Bowles
Manager, Business Development
Bellwood Health Services
Phone: 416-847-0751

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Bellwood Health Services Inc.


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