Nov. 30, 2021, noon
Reilly has a lot of normal teenage worries – she wants to get into a good university, so she places a lot of value on keeping her grades up, but school is stressful – especially when it’s virtual – and she keeps busy with extracurricular activities and sports. She doesn’t have a lot of time to herself during the week, so it was a Sunday afternoon when she gathered her courage and chatted with our helpline about her worries that she was relapsing into an eating disorder.
Previously, Reilly would have had a hard time making time in her busy schedule to chat before our instant chat closed at 9pm EST. Through a unique partnership with BEAT and with the support of TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, NEDIC is now able to provide helpline services on the weekend – including to Reilly.
Reilly struggled with her eating a few years ago – she was having a tough time with some big changes to her home life, and found that having something she could control was comforting. But, she soon realised that she was restricting her food intake to a dangerous degree and could no longer keep up with her academic and extracurricular priorities. She forced herself to begin eating again. For a few years, she could keep her disordered eating to a manageable level. In her last year of high school, things started to escalate. Even her little brother was starting to notice that she was struggling.
Reilly knew she had to do something, but she wasn’t sure where to start. She didn’t feel that she could confide in her parents, but her brother wanted her to tell someone. She was overwhelmed by feelings of guilt because he had noticed something was off and wanted to help her. More than anything, Reilly didn’t want to be a burden to her loved ones. Chatting with Reilly, we were struck by her compassion and maturity. By the end of our chat, she had a collection of resources that she could review and consider sharing with her family. We were also able to connect her to some low-barrier virtual supports.
While the next steps are up to her, and recovery is far from easy, Reilly has some new strategies and tools to utilise. With your continued support, NEDIC can be there for youth like Reilly – online and on the weekends, when they need us most.