Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2024

Dear Community, 

It’s that time of year again. February 1-7, we acknowledge the 4th annual Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This week was formally recognized in Ontario thanks to my unanimously passed Bill 61. #EDAW2024 would not have been made possible without the incredible organizations, advocates, and folks with lived experience who helped me champion our bill right into the legislature. It was truly a team effort!
 
This year’s campaign theme is: Breaking Barriers, Facilitating Futures. NEDIC (National Eating Disorder Information Centre) reminds us that we must continue to pay attention to the under-recognized barriers that people face when accessing care for their eating disorders. According to reports between 840,000 and 1,750,000 people in Canada have eating disorder symptoms. Approximately 700,000 of those people live in Ontario. We also know there are people who never get a diagnosis and cannot access the support they need.
 
While it is true that women and girls are disproportionately impacted, eating disorders don’t discriminate. People across genders, racial backgrounds, abilities, socioeconomic realities, size and weight, and sexual orientation get eating disorders. BIPOC and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities often face additional barriers when accessing care. Conversations and systemic actions to address social determinants of health are critical now especially for Black, Indigenous, people with disabilities, trans and non-binary communities with historical experiences of discrimination in health care and for whom community access to help for eating disorders is often under-resourced.
 
Anyone in Ontario affected by eating disorders or related mental health challenges deserves equitable access to timely, publicly funded care in their communities. I will continue to call on the government to invest in community-based early intervention programs, online resources, and culturally relevant support for community members with eating disorders. The province urgently needs to invest in publicly funded hospital beds and health care providers with specialization in eating disorders, especially in rural and northern communities. Currently, there are only 20 beds across the province and the choice for many is to wait or pay thousands out of pocket for treatment. Folks in northern and rural fly-in communities are especially at a disadvantage with far travel times and limited access to local specialists.
 
Organizations like NEDIC, Sheena's Place, and NIED among others provide crucial support to eating disorder community members and their families here in our community and across the province, but they need more help. We need urgent investment from the government to help Ontarians get the help they need before it’s too late.
 
 
Tonight, February 1st join NEDIC for their annual VoiceED art event at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre from 7:00 to 9pm. Click here for more info.
 
NEDIC will also be hosting Community Rooms on Feb 2nd and Feb 5th to offer space for community members with living and lived experiences with an eating disorder to connect and share their journeys. Click here for more information and to register. 
 
On Feb 2nd, Sheena's Place will be hosting a EDAW Trivia Night from 6 to 8pm at the Crafty Coyote (511 Bloor St W). Click here for more info.
In solidarity,

Dr. Jill Andrew, Ph.D
MPP, Toronto-St. Paul's

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Community News Update - June 21, 2024

Dear Community,

Join me and Save Ontario's Science Centre on Sunday in Wells Hill Park to speak out against Doug Ford's scheme to move the Ontario Science Centre to Ontario Place, which has now led to the surprise closure of the Science Centre.

This benefits no one. Not the people of Toronto who are losing a beloved insitution or the 400+ employees of the OSC, many of whom will lose their jobs.

Meet us in Wells Hill Park at St Clair and Bathurst to tell Doug Ford NO.

RSVP here

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