Adult Eating Disorder Service opens at LHSC

February 5, 2013

Until now, adults living with an eating disorder in Southwestern Ontario have had few local resources to turn to for help, with many having to travel to other parts of the province, the country, or in some cases, other parts of North America to receive the treatment they required. That’s all about to change, however, with the opening of the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) Adult Eating Disorder Service (AEDS), in partnership with WOTCH Community Mental Health Services.

“London Health Sciences Centre is thrilled to be working with WOTCH Community Mental Health Services to offer this vital support to members of our community who are living with an eating disorder”, said Bonnie Adamson.

Through funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the service has been developed to meet the needs of adults who require treatment for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorders not otherwise specified. Services offered include assessment and consultation, along with therapy groups aimed at providing support and education to clients in understanding their eating disorder, as well as preparing clients for treatment. When patients have committed to their recovery process, there is an intensive outpatient program available to achieve these goals.Services are also available for family members of clients.

Team at AEDS
Members of the LHSC Adult Eating Disorder Service (AEDS) treatment team.

“The need for a program of this nature, serving adults who are facing the challenge of an eating disorder, has long existed in our region”, said Dr. Valerie Kaye, physician lead for the service. “Eating disorders are extremely serious psychiatric disorders. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental health diagnosis. These disorders exact a host of medical and psychological difficulties and recovery is often filled with overwhelming challenges that require intensive support.  Individuals need to know that there is help available to them close to home, and close to their support network of friends and family.”

The program is now accepting referrals and providing assessments. Further information on the program and the referral process can be found at Services will be expanded over time to include residential treatment and maintenance support once clients have ‘graduated’ from the program.

“We know that eating disorders impact not only the individual, but also those who love and care for them. The impact of this program will be far reaching, and will result in lives saved”, said Kaye.

February 3 – 9 is Eating Disorders Week in Canada.