Eating Disorders Unit
It has been a special day for all of us at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) and, ultimately, everyone interested in building a mental health care system that meets the needs of Ontarians.
The Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, visited Ontario Shores to deliver word of a new service which will positively impact children and youth in Ontario, and their families.
An audience of patients, staff, politicians, and community members gathered earlier today as Minister Matthews announced new funding which will see Ontario Shores become home to the province’s first inpatient treatment facility for children and youth with eating disorders. When it comes to treating eating disorders across the province, brief hospitalization for medical stabilization of children and youth is available. However, at Ontario Shores, we will treat the mental health component of illness.
It was wonderful to visit with Minister Matthews at our hospital and it’s an honour to have the support of her government for this ground-breaking program.
The opening of an Eating Disorders Unit at Ontario Shores will provide specialized care to a population with the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Currently there are more than 32,000 children and youth in Ontario with eating disorders.
This new program at Ontario Shores will serve as a provincial resource, which will allow a number of children and youth struggling with an eating disorder to remain in Ontario and receive the treatment they need. This will keep families involved and active in their child’s recovery.
Aside from the geographic benefits of this program being located in Ontario, the uniqueness of the treatment approach is just as exciting.
When the Eating Disorders Unit opens its doors, our interprofessional team will provide a rehabilitation program to medically stable patients who need individual, group and family therapy to help them on their journey of recovery. We will provide psycho-education, meal support, nutrition and eating rehabilitation and psychopharmacologic treatment. There will be a pre-admission process, post-discharge support and planning for transition home. All of these elements will create a unique service which fills a current gap in the mental health care system and provides the best possible care to children and youth, and their families.
Before we arrive at the point where we can actively meet with families, treat patients and assist them in moving forward in life, we have substantial work to do as organization. However, today is a day to celebrate and recognize the investment the province is making in the mental well-being of children and youth and in Ontario Shores’ ability to meet the needs of this population.
We have been given an opportunity to significantly impact the lives of young people struggling with eating disorders and we are looking forward to getting started.