Talking at the heart of 2015 Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Event Poster for Eating Disorder Awareness WeekOne clear message will prevail when mental health experts at Hotel Dieu Hospital mark Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) Feb. 1-7:  talking saves lives.

“The sooner help is found, the better the outcome,” says Dr. Brad Mac Neil, a clinical psychologist in the Adult Eating Disorders Clinic at Hotel Dieu.  “People need to understand that an eating disorder isn’t just a phase or that trying to achieve that perfect weight can actually be making you very sick.  

“We want to talk about the support available to get people past the stigma and silence that affect those living with a diagnosed eating disorder or struggling on their own.”
Starting at 12:30 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 3, Mac Neil and his colleagues will host an Open House in Hotel Dieu’s Adult Eating Disorders Clinic.  Community members can tour the clinic, hear about its treatment program and join discussions on topics that include healthy body image and men and eating disorders.

“Men also struggle with eating disorders but only a small fraction seek help because they assume that treatment services exist only for women,” he says.   “They end up undiagnosed or under-diagnosed, so we need to raise awareness about their options.”

Men comprise only two per cent of the clients served in the Adult Eating Disorders Clinic, which sees 100 to 150 clients annually.  About 30 per cent are college or university students, says Mac Neil.

On Thursday, Feb. 5, other events include a Friends & Family session at 3 pm (for family and friends only of patients currently in the eating disorders program) and, throughout the day, Northern Smash!—a chance to drop off those tyrannical bathroom scales in the main lobby or the Eating Disorders Clinic on Centenary 5.

“People can write a message of encouragement or recovery on the scales before we give them a good smash,” says Mac Neil.  “It’s another way to raise awareness around weight-based stigma and body image.”

A full schedule of Eating Disorders Awareness Week events at Hotel Dieu is available on our events calendar.

MEDIA OP:  Media are welcome to interview Clinical Psychologist Dr. Brad Mac Neil and other members of the Adult Eating Disorders team in advance of EDAW.  To arrange an interview/photo, please contact Anne Rutherford, Public Relations, 613-544-3400, ext. 3380,

Hotel Dieu Hospital is the ambulatory care teaching and research hospital for Kingston and Southeastern Ontario, affiliated with Queen’s University.  We provide expert care to more than 500,000 people in the region through specialized programs including pediatrics, medicine, ophthalmology, cardiology, urology, surgery, mental health, oncology and urgent care.  We deliver quality, safe health care, while advancing innovative research and educating the health care professionals of the future.   Leading the transformation of ambulatory care

L'Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu est l'établissement de soins ambulatoires universitaire pour Kingston et le Sud-Est de l'Ontario affilié à l’Université Queen's. Il fournit des soins spécialisés à plus de 500 000 personnes de la région. Parmi ses services spécialisés, mentionnons les services de pédiatrie, de médecine, d’ophtalmologie, de cardiologie, d’urologie, de chirurgies, de santé mentale, d’oncologie et de soins d'urgence. L'hôpital fournit des services de soins de santé sûrs et de qualité tout en menant des recherches novatrices et en formant les professionnels de la santé de demain.  Chef de file pour la transformation des soins ambulatoires

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