Feb. 23, 2022, noon
We blinked and February 2022 was here. The well-documented way COVID has altered our collective perception of time (i.e., does anyone know when we are anymore?) is only one of the pandemic-related impacts we at NEDIC have felt over the past couple of years. What we’ve felt the most has been the surge of eating disorders in Canada, especially among children and youth. A collective effort from coast-to-coast-to-coast, Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) is a time for unity and action — a week where we can spotlight public attention on eating disorders and amplify the work happening in our community.
So in October, we got to work: surveying our partners to listen to their needs and assess who had capacity to join this year’s national working committee. Our friends at Body Brave, Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association, the Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta, Hopewell Eating Disorder Support Centre, the National Initiative for Eating Disorders, Sheena's Place, and the Waterloo-Wellington Eating Disorders Coalition responded our call, and we started meeting weekly to create a campaign that reflected a central aim: everyone has a role to play in eating disorder prevention and recovery.
The response was overwhelming. Compared to #EDAW2021, we observed a 234% increase in traffic to our EDAW page, and the new resources developed by the committee were downloaded over 1,000 times between mid-January and the first week of February. These statistics show what we know from our work: that people are looking for information and that so many of us are affected by eating disorders - whether by our own lived experience or because we are a supporter (friend, family member, coach, mentor, teacher…) to someone with an eating disorder.
Everyone Has a Role to Play — and we really all do, especially when we think about the larger social context that we live in (we see you, diet culture and your sponsors, the patriarchy and white supremacy). EDAW aims to build awareness of the impact of eating disorders, to bust the stereotypes and myths, and to point people to the supports that are available to them. While making use of the one week spotlight is important, we recognize and live the reality of eating disorders being a 365-days-a-year issue. To reflect that, the materials we co-created will be available far beyond this week. Check them out:
We also held our community arts event, VoicED, virtually for the first time ever. Artists of all kinds gathered to share their experiences and stories with us. While diverse and full of nuance, the commonality of community held strong and true. Their stories were raw and emotional; they allowed for the kind of connection that helps us get through rough patches and hard moments, and inspired attendees to continue their journeys, wherever they find themselves. We are so grateful for the stories and conversations exchanged that night, and are hopeful to know they’ll continue beyond.
Please remember that we are here to help every week of the year, alongside our partners Body Brave, Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association, the Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta,Hopewell Eating Disorder Support Centre, the National Initiative for Eating Disorders, Sheena's Place, and the Waterloo-Wellington Eating Disorders Coalition.
Here's to #EDAW2022! See you at #EDAW2023!
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Feb. 2, 2016, 8:14 p.m.