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7 Virtual Resources for EDs and Disordered Eating

7 Virtual Resources for EDs and Disordered Eating

There has been a lot of talk in the news and mental health spheres about an increase in disordered eating and eating disorders (EDs) during the pandemic and, tragically, the lack of services to treat those who are struggling. This is a scary reality considering eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders following opioid addiction

It is important to be followed medically when struggling with these issues, and hospitalization or residential support may be critical. Unfortunately, the wait for that type of treatment can be tremendously long and other supports may be helpful in the meantime. There are several virtual resources that can be accessed before or after receiving inpatient or residential treatment, or perhaps for those who may find their needs better met by these, or other, supports. 

In no particular order, the following are some free virtual resources (that don’t require a diagnosis and are not a substitute for intensive or medical treatment) that can offer some support to those in Ontario who are struggling with EDs or disordered eating:

The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) - All ages

NEDIC is a registered Canadian charity that provides information, resources, and support for eating disorders and food or weight preoccupation. They host an instant chat as well as a helpline (the toll free number is 1-866-633-4220) that are available from 9:00am to 9:00pm Mondays through Thursdays and 9:00am to 5:00pm on Fridays. From 1:00pm to 7:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays, instant chat is available from their colleagues at BEAT.

Body Brave - 17+

This is a charity that sets out to provide accessible eating disorder treatment and support, while also advancing community training and education. Body Brave is based out of Hamilton, Ontario, though all of their services are currently virtual. A diagnosis or referral is not required, however, they state that their services are suitable for those struggling with binge eating disorder, anorexia, bulimia, OSFED, disordered eating and body image issues. They offer webinars and workshops that are open to the public, self-guided resources, treatment groups, and individual treatment services.

Sheena’s Place - 17+

A community-based charity that provides group-based support to people in Ontario who are affected by an eating disorder or disordered eating. Groups are professionally-facilitated and are taking place virtually, though the centre is located in Toronto, Ontario. Sheena’s Place also offers workshops and recreational programs.

Danielle’s Place - 8-17

An organization that provides prevention and early intervention services for children and youth. Danielle’s place offers free virtual groups, and is based out of Burlington, Ontario. They are also attached to Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK), which offers virtual walk-in clinics Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (Eastern),  and a 24/7 Crisis Line at 905-878-9785.

Eating Disorders Nova Scotia - All ages

A charitable organization that offers free virtual peer support groups, peer mentoring (17+), workshops, and a peer support chat for anyone in Canada who is experiencing disordered eating or eating disorders. The peer support chat is available 11:00am - 12:15pm (Atlantic) on Saturdays, and 7:00 - 8:15pm (Atlantic) on Sundays and Wednesdays.

The Looking Glass Foundation - 14+

A not-for-profit foundation based out of British Columbia that offers free peer support group chats to individuals in Canada who are experiencing disordered eating, weight, or body image issues. These chats are supervised by trained moderators. There are 10 live chats per week and individuals may join as many as they would like. On the first and third Wednesdays of each month, they provide peer support chats that are geared towards people who struggle with binge eating.

Recovery Warriors - All ages

An online community for those with eating disorders or related issues, including a virtual resource centre filled with information about body image, body politics, the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement, and more, including information from experts.