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More Help For Ontarians With Eating Disorders

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More Help For Ontarians With Eating Disorders

McGuinty Government Supporting First Program Of Its Kind In Southwestern Ontario

Ministry of Health

Ontarians living with eating disorders will be able to receive specialized treatment thanks to a first-of-its kind program for adults at the London Health Sciences Centre.

This new comprehensive program includes Ontario's first-ever publicly-funded residential treatment facility for adults with eating disorders. The new eight-bed facility will be operated by the Western Ontario Therapeutic Community Hostel (WOTCH).

The adult eating disorders program will help patients through:

  • Inpatient medical care (up to four hospital beds);
  • A day treatment program to help 20 full-time and 32 part-time patients; and
  • An interdisciplinary team of health care professionals - including psychiatrists, nurses and dieticians - to ensure patients receive care through all phases of their illness.

Two new nurse practitioners become part of the interdisciplinary teams - one will work with adults and the other will care for children in the existing pediatric program.

Today's announcement is part of the government's comprehensive mental health and addictions strategy - Open Minds, Healthy Minds. The strategy focuses on creating a more coordinated and responsive system by reducing stigma and discrimination, identifying problems and intervening early, and delivering more high quality and timely supports.

Quick Facts

  • Eating disorders, such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa, are serious mental health illnesses and have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • Between three to five percent of women aged 18-45 will experience a serious eating disorder in their lifetime (such as vomiting, binge eating and purging), which is about twice as many people who will have bipolar disorder and schizophrenia combined.
  • An Ontario study found that one in four teenaged girls between 12 and 18 years of age experience at least one symptom of a serious eating disorder.
  • Since 2003, the government has increased funding by 80 per cent for community mental health services, and by 49 per cent for addiction programs.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“This is a wonderful day. I'm enormously proud that this new, first-ever Ontario program will give people living with eating disorders not only excellent care, but also hope and peace of mind knowing that help is close by. I know these specialized supports will save lives.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“We appreciate the government's support for this new program aimed at meeting the growing demand among adults in southwestern Ontario for specialized eating disorder services. We look forward to providing a wide range of services that will allow people to get the help they need closer to home.”

Sandy Whittall

VP, Mental Health, the London Health Sciences Centre

“I'm thrilled about today's announcement. This new program will mean that people living with eating disorders will now have access to high quality services so close to home.”

Dr. Robbie Campbell

President, Eating Disorders Foundation of Canada and Physician Lead Regional Mental Health Care London and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario

“This is a significant project that will improve access and quality of care for people living with eating disorders. These new, specialized services will not only help those in London and surrounding communities, but also they will help many others across Ontario.”

Hon. Chris Bentley

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney General and MPP for London West

“This is a great milestone for London and the surrounding region. This new program will benefit the lives of so many adults living with eating disorders and allow them to access the right kind of care in the most appropriate setting.”

Khalil Ramal

MPP London Fanshawe

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Government Health and Wellness