NEDIC Launching First-In-Canada Instant Chat Helpline Service
NATIONAL EATING DISORDER INFORMATION CENTRE LAUNCHING FIRST-IN-CANADA INSTANT CHAT HELPLINE SERVICE
New digital platform opens the door for youth to talk about their eating disorders
TORONTO, Oct 27, 2017 – The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) is proud to announce, that with a $15,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, presented at last week’s 6th annual Zest for Life event, it has reached its fundraising goal of $70,000 to support the addition of a web-based instant chat option to its existing helpline services.
L to R: Elizabeth Pottinger, Suzanne Phillips, Simon Dwyer, Kristine Wilson, Dr. Marion Olmstead, Dr. Kathryn Trottier, Dr. Dan Andreae
NEDIC’s instant chat, the first service of its kind in Canada, will fill a necessary gap in online mental health services by targeting youth, who have statistically felt more comfortable using instant chat or text options to seek support.
“For decades, our helpline resource has had a profound impact on the lives of Canadians struggling with eating disorders. The new instant chat feature is the next opportunity for us to remain relevant and accessible to an increasingly tech-savvy demographic,” says Suzanne Phillips, NEDIC Program Manager.
NEDIC has operated Canada’s only toll-free eating disorder helpline for more than 30 years. It provides information, support and referrals for Canadians struggling with an eating disorder or for those looking for information to support a friend or family member. More than 95 per cent of callers receive appropriate resource referrals during their initial contact with helpline staff, which includes registered dietitians, social workers and counsellors.
“Eating disorders are wrought with stigma. The anonymity and confidentiality of our helpline gives Canadians a chance to talk about their struggle. By extending our services to include instant chat, we are removing barriers to our services and further empowering individuals to discuss their experience and determine their next steps,” says Phillips.
The instant chat, expected to launch next month, will enable NEDIC to reach an additional 1,200 Canadians each month.
In addition to support from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, we would like to thank the following organizations and individuals for helping NEDIC raise the funds needed to implement this life-changing service:
- Echo Foundation
- The Philip Sung Design Associates
- SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU.
- TELUS Greater Toronto Area Community Board
- Troy Alexandra McClure
ABOUT THE NATIONAL EATING DISORDER INFORMATION CENTRE
NEDIC is Canada's oldest organization committed to providing educational resources and support for those affected by eating disorders. NEDIC operates Canada's only toll-free national helpline dedicated to providing individuals who are affected by eating disorders a channel for communicating openly and honestly about their struggles, and to access the support they need. Since 1985, NEDIC has provided support to more than 60,000 callers seeking help. NEDIC is located at Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network (UHN). For more information, visit nedic.ca.
ABOUT TORONTO GENERAL & WESTERN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION
Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation (TGWHF) raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals, as well as the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Together with its donors, TGWHF is helping UHN pursue the knowledge that makes all our lives better. For more information, visit tgwhf.ca.
National Eating Disorder Information Centre