Demand soaring for help with eating disorders
Organizations devoted to the fight against eating disorders in Newfoundland and Labrador admit they're scrambling to keep with the demand for help.
"We're bombarded with families coming forward and looking for support," said Vince Withers, chairperson of the Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Olga Heath, an expert in community health at Memorial University, said the condition has reached epidemic proportions. Heath and a team of experts have spent the last six years creating a province-wide network of professionals trained at tackling the issue.
"People are working together. They're talking to each other. They're recognizing that no single professional can deal with these disorders on their own," said Heath.
After holding workshops across the province, the eating disorder project team created a manual which lays out common and best treatment practices for clients and their families.
Although the team's work has made a huge difference, the demand for treatment is outstripping existing resources, said Withers, a retired business executive who got involved in fighting eating disorders when his daughter succumbed to one.
Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador does not have an in-patient facility, which is something that Withers believes is very much needed.
"There seems to be a total consensus that this is a requirement," Withers said.
"There's no argument."