Talking Saves Lives: A Year in Review

This February will mark over 250 days and 1000 extra hours that the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) helpline has been active, thanks to a generous donation from Bell Let’s Talk – in addition to the 2000 regular business hours that our helpline is live every year. We began 2013 with this thought: “Talking saves lives.”  EDAW 2013 Poster, Talking Saves LivesEnding the stigma around eating disorders starts with talking about them. With the knowledge that individuals suffering with eating disorders need a place to get information and support not just during the day, but after office hours, from the comfort of home. We prioritized this goal because we know how hard it can be to ask for help – for yourself, or for someone you love – and wanted to make it that much easier. We know that many people reached out for help for the first time this year, and that it was to NEDIC that they made that first call. We are honoured that we can play this role in so many people’s lives, and hope that every call moves people closer to finding the health, balance, and recovery that they seek.

In many ways, 2013 was a year of firsts. As January rolls to a close and we look back at the past year, it’s hard to believe that so much happened at our small (but feisty!) organization. In addition to extending the hours of our helpline, we hosted an expert panel for Eating Disorder Awareness Week at St. Clement’s School in Toronto. We introduced a quarterly webinar series. We welcomed nine new volunteers and three placement students to our team, as well as our first Business Development Officer. We had our first public awareness ad in the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), where it was seen by thousands of Torontonians. We witnessed an incredible community of eating disorder survivors, body image advocates, weight positive professionals and storytellers come together online on the NEDIC blog. We interviewed accomodating passerby outside the Toronto Eaton Centre on their thoughts about eating disorders, and we reached thousands of youth and adults through our community outreach and educational workshops. Finally, we ended the year by surpassing the 1500 follower mark on Facebook.

To all of you who joined us here on the NEDIC blog, as writers, readers, commentators and spectators: Thank you! You are a generous and warm audience, and we hope to continue sharing stories, survivor tales, critical dialogues and wisdom on this blog. We hope that it helps you in your own journey – be it a journey of recovery, a path to knowledge, or a road to helping others. To those of you joining us here for the first time – welcome! We hope to hear your feedback, comments, and unique voices in 2014. We are excited about the year to come, and value your support tremendously. We wish everyone here a happy, healthy, and peaceful year!

- The NEDIC team

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