Health and Community Services
August 3, 2017

Tender to be Issued for New Eating Disorder Treatment Unit

Through an initial Provincial Government investment of approximately $700,000 work is underway to develop a provincial intensive inpatient program for people with eating disorders. The dedicated four-bed intensive care inpatient unit at the Health Sciences Complex was announced in Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador, released in June 2017. Funding will be used for renovations, recruitment and training, and start-up costs.

A tender will be issued this month to renovate existing space at the Health Sciences Complex in St. John’s to accommodate the specialized beds and therapeutic space for families.

In addition to the renovations, an interdisciplinary team will be hired to support the specialized provincial program. A focus for this team will be to ensure a seamless continuum of services is in place for individuals and families as they transition through outpatient, inpatient and follow-up care. The team will include psychiatric nurses, a psychologist, dietitian and social worker. Recruitment for these positions will begin immediately, and they should be filled this fall. Once hiring is complete, members of the new interdisciplinary team will receive additional training, focusing on treatment for eating disorders, including theory and skill-based education such as motivational interviewing skills, cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, and family therapy.

The Provincial Government released its Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan in June. The Action Plan is one of more than 50 initiatives in The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Eating disorders are particularly troubling illnesses that can gravely impact people and their families. This program will help those in treatment and their families during their most vulnerable moments and provide them with the support they need to recover. I look forward to seeing the new space, and know it will provide an appropriate environment for healing.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

"The establishment of this Intensive Care Inpatient Program is great news for our many families requiring this treatment service; it will clearly save lives. Eating disorder treatment and support services have improved significantly in recent years and speaking for our eating disorder families, we are grateful for this initiative, it certainly demonstrates that we are listening and responding to those who are hopeful for a successful recovery outcome."
Vince Withers
Chair of the Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Learn more
Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL and @HCS_GovNL

Media contacts
Emily Timmins
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 693-1292

Vince Withers
Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

2017 08 03                             11:25 a.m.