Health and Community Services
February 1, 2019

Provincial Government Recognizes Eating Disorder Awareness Week

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is recognizing national Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 1-7). Eating Disorder Awareness Week seeks to raise awareness and promote prevention.

The theme ‘Eating Disorders Cannot Afford to Wait’, is a call to action to start the conversation and learn about the resources and appropriate support services available.

In 2018, Government, in conjunction with Eastern Heath announced the opening of a dedicated four-bed inpatient eating disorder unit at the Health Sciences Centre.

The unit provides assessment and specialized treatment for those who are acutely ill with an eating disorder and therefore too unwell to participate in outpatient programming. In addition to the beds, there is also a space for meals as well as space for families to participate in the treatment plan and support their family member.

Eating disorders affect nearly one million Canadians, including 20,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and according to the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC), have the highest mortality rate among all mental illnesses, and can develop in anyone, regardless of age, ethno-racial background, socio-economic status, gender or ability.

The Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador provides numerous education and support programs for individuals and families seeking help. They can be reached at: 709-722-0500 or toll free at: 1-855-722-0500.

Government is observing Eating Disorder Awareness Week by flying a flag of observance and lighting the Confederation Building purple, in an effort to raise public awareness.

In the Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Government committed to transform the way mental health and addictions services are delivered. The province continues to support this vision through the implementation of Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador. The Way Forward can be viewed at

Support for mental health and addictions services also deliver on commitments in The Way Forward to deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at

“Eating disorders are not a choice, they are in fact, serious and dangerous mental illnesses. We need to break the stigma, secrecy and stereotypes which surround eating disorders, so people who are living with an eating disorder can feel comfortable and safe in seeking the help they need.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“The Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is very encouraged and optimistic about the recent improvements in treatment and support services for our eating disorder families. We encourage families to come forward and avail of these inpatient and outpatient services, remembering the first and most important step to recovery is making that telephone call. The theme for eating disorder awareness week is Eating Disorders Cannot Afford to Wait. Let’s act now.”
Vince Withers
Chair of the Board of Directors, Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Learn more
Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador external link icon

National Eating Disorder Information Centre external link icon

Eating Disorder Inpatient Treatment Unit Now Open at the Health Sciences Centre

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL external link icon and @HCS_GovNL external link icon

Media contact
Kathy Dicks-Peyton
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 699-1982

2019 02 01                              11:05 a.m.