OT: In Honor Of February Being Eating Disorders Awareness Month

Earlier last week I was contacted by a reader named Amy who works at the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre at BC Children’s Hospital as an eating disorders peer support worker with a small request of posting a link for her facebook page she runs (Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves) on my lulumum facebook page. The goal is simply to raise awareness and understanding since it is such a misunderstood disease and to promote a more positive way of regarding ourselves because February is Eating Disorder Awareness Month

As a mother of two young girls and since I have family members that struggle with this disease I really wanted to do a bit more and give Amy a post where she could write a message to my readers. We are such a fitness focused group, and as a result we are also very body aware. We can’t help but focus on our outward appearance when what we are discussing is fitness, fitness clothing and diet a lot of the time. Let us just be aware of how our messages may effect someone who struggles with these diseases and recognize that although we aren’t struggling with our bodies in the same way, there may be someone close to us that is struggling. 

Here is Amy’s message: 

My name is Amy Candido and I work here at the amazing Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre at BC Children’s Hospital as the Eating Disorders Peer Support Worker. Here I assist and support people of all ages who are struggling with eating disorders.  I also help parents and families learn how to cope with their family member who is struggling.  Another aspect of working at the Kelty Centre is helping people and professionals understand the disorder, as well as provide guidance and support on how to approach and talk to those who are struggling.

Every February we, along with Jessie’s Legacy, are in charge of putting on the Provincial Eating Disorder Awareness Week (PEDAW).  This year’s theme is “Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves!”  It is a Province wide effort to raise awareness around prevention, early intervention and treatment of Eating Disorders as well as resiliency, healthy body image, and self-esteem.  Upon request, we are sending out a resource package which includes a list of meaningful and engaging discussions, activities for the school or workplace, positive affirmations, and excellent resources and links which also promote Eating Disorder Awareness and Body Image!  We also have wristbands with our theme, “Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves,” embossed on it in the official Eating Disorder periwinkle color!  In addition, we are going to various schools putting on several presentations for Eating Disorder Awareness and Prevention.

To launch PEDAW, we are organizing a Flash Mob downtown at the Vancouver Art Gallery(date not set yet –we’re looking at mid-February).  I will be running the Facebook page, and every so often will be asking creative questions in hope to engage people to reflect upon them and generate ideas of how we can ‘love our bodies and love ourselves.’

I hope you can join us to bring awareness about Eating Disorders and promote healthy body image!

For more information, you can email me here at keltycentre@bcmhs.bc.ca, or check out our websites at keltyeatingdisorders.ca, or keltymentalhealth.ca

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