The Alberta government will commit $165,000 to help people with eating disorders with long-term recovery, the province's health minister announced Wednesday.
The money, which will be paid out over the next three years, will be used to fund the non-profit Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta (EDSNA).
“There’s a whole big and long road between eating disorder treatment and being recovered,” said Moyra McAllister , who founded EDSNA after her daughter, Caitlin Holliday, struggled with anorexia.
She says it was the "most terrifying thing" that had ever happened to her, and that Holliday's recovery didn't stop when her treatment did.
Health minister Fred Horne says the family's case is not unusual in Alberta and that the non-profit fills a gap in the province's treatment options.
“We have inpatient treatment for Albertans with eating disorders. We have some residential treatment programs," said Horne. "We really don’t have anything to provide support and information for the families."
“Her journey has led her to this"
McAllister says the government funding is going to help the group hit the ground running.
“We don't have to spend four years fundraising and getting our name out there,” she said. “We can start providing our services right off the bat.”
Holliday hopes her mother’s initiative will help many other families receive the support they need.
“She can reach out and she can help other people,” Holliday said. “Her journey has led her to this. My journey has led me towards health, and hers has led her towards helping people.”
One year ago, Holliday was in residential care receiving treatment. Today, she is in recovery and just weeks away from getting married.
“I’ve seen her worry over losing me, that I wasn’t going to get better and that I would eventually die from my disease,” Holliday said.
“My mom’s dream is coming true. That people won’t have to feel so alone anymore and that the support will actually be there.”