February 2nd, 2024
February 2nd, 2024
TORONTO – MPP Jill Andrew (Toronto - St. Paul’s), Official Opposition NDP critic for Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity, released the following statement to mark the 4th annual Eating Disorders Awareness Week:
“Everyone in Ontario who is affected by eating disorders or related mental health challenges deserves equitable access to timely, publicly funded care in their communities. The province urgently needs to invest in publicly funded hospital beds and health care providers with specialization in eating disorders.
Currently, there are only 20 beds across the province and the choice for many is to wait or pay thousands out of pocket for treatment. Folks in northern and rural fly-in communities are especially at a disadvantage with far travel times and limited access to local specialists. The Ontario NDP and I will continue to call on the government to invest in community-based early intervention programs, online resources, and culturally relevant support for community members with eating disorders.
Women and girls are disproportionately impacted by eating disorders, but anyone can be impacted, with BIPOC and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities facing additional barriers to accessing care. Conversations and systemic actions to address social determinants of health are critical now especially for Black, Indigenous, people with disabilities, trans and non-binary communities with historical experiences of discrimination in health care, and for whom community access to help for eating disorders is often under-resourced.
Organizations like National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC), Sheena's Place, and National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED) provide crucial support to eating disorder community members and their families in our community and across the province, but they need more help. We need urgent investment from the government to help Ontarians get the help they need before it’s too late.”