Parent Panels

With the introduction of a formal Outreach & Education program in 2013, trained NEDIC staff have delivered hundreds of student presentations, teacher trainings, and professional development sessions for school-aged youth, educators, and support staff. In 2019, we started engaging caregivers in school settings to ensure that a student will hear the same message from their peers, in the classroom, and at home – a whole-school approach. Since then, we've delivered parent panels in-person and virtually in both school and community environments.

We aim to create a space where we can safely acknowledge and address caregiver needs, reduce the stigma they experience, and empower them with supports that they can take home for themselves and their families. 

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Workshop Details

We organize parent panels in collaboration with partner organizations, such as school parent councils, board trustees, community organizations, and local groups of parents. 

Our partners promote the event to their wider community and provides important context by championing this issue as one that's important to their lives as they care for the young people in their life. NEDIC taps into our trusted volunteer network to secure panelists who speak to their varied experience – as a caregiver, person with lived experience, clinician, and/or therapist – with the goal of providing a united, evidence-based message about eating disorder risk factors and support strategies. We prioritize having local perspectives at these events, and are always happy to engage partners in preparatory meetings if a local carer, youth, or clinician would like to be on the panel. 


Our parent panels are usually 90-minute events that are in-person at a partner's location (school, community centre, library, etc.) if they're located in the Greater Toronto Area or virtual via Zoom across the country.  An example agenda for an evening session is as follows: 

  • 6:45pm: Panelists are let in to the meeting
  • 7:00 – 7:10pm: Attendees are let into the meeting; partner welcomes the audience, speaks about the purpose of the panel
  • 7:10 – 7:15pm: NEDIC staff introduces themselves as moderator, facilitates a land acknowledgement, and asks panelists introducing themselves
  • 7:15 – 7:50pm: Panel answers some of the set questions (see below)
  • 7:50pm: Conversation opens up to the audience
  • 8:15pm: Conversation wrap-up; closing remarks
  • 8:30pm: Event ends

Set questions often include the following and can be altered to meet local needs and context: 

  1. Why is it important that we’re here today to talk about how health messages around food and exercise can impact your children and families?
  2. What can cause someone’s relationship with food and exercise to go astray?
  3. What are some signs that I should be aware of? When should I take action?
  4. What resources exist for me to talk to about my concerns?
  5. What barriers are commonly faced when people reach out for treatment or support for eating disorders?
  6. As you reflect back on your experience(s), what has helped you face those barriers?
  7. In your opinion, what could we, as a community, be doing more of in order to proactively to prevent EDs? What additional supports do you think are needed?

We acknowledge the stigma that exists around these conversations and work to destigmatize them by having multiple methods for audience participation, including completely anonymous modes of asking questions. Panelists are guided to speak from an "I" perspective and focus on using the panel as an opportunity to share information and educate about eating disorders. We are mindful of not judging any member of the audience about what has happened in the past, and instead, empower them to change their habits or reach out for support. 

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We believe that money should never be a barrier to providing crucial education to communities in need. If your organization has an existing fund to bring in guest speakers, we provide workshop fees on a sliding scale to directly cover costs related to preparation of tailored content, staffing, and travel for each presentation. We are more than happy to work with you to determine a fee that makes our programming accessible to your context. 

Presentation Request Form

Have More Questions? 
Contact Ary Maharaj, Outreach and Education Coordinator

Phone: 416-340-4800 ext. 2660



We offer two customizable workshop options for teachers and school support staff so that you and your colleagues can learn the skills and tools you need. One focuses on supporting students in need, while the other engages educators and administrators in a conversation about taking a whole-school approach to eating disorder prevention, including policies and curriculum. 

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Elementary & Middle School Students

Our interactive workshops for elementary and middle school students are appropriate for students in Grades 4 through 8. We’ll explore ways students can appreciate all that their body does, reflect on all the values food brings into our lives, shed light on pervasive media messaging, and converse about communicating care to themselves and the people around them.

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High School Students

Our workshops for students in Grades 9 through 12 dive deep into spotting (and then rejecting!) diet culture. We’ll reveal the sticky truth of many social media posts, engage in critical discussions about conversations centred around "health", share information about the importance of food, and share resources for students to help their peers if they notice a concern.

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Parent Panels

Our parent panels are designed for your local community, creating a safe space for caregivers to share their concerns while empowering them with resources to support the well-being of their children. We organize these in collaboration with partner organizations, such as school parent councils, local school boards, community organizations, and interested groups of parents. Panelists include youth with lived experience, fellow parents, and mental health practitioners arranged by our team to reflect the needs of the local community. 

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In line with national post-secondary mental health strategies and frameworks, our team has created two educational workshops and a social media campaign that have been delivered to post-secondary communities across eight provinces and territories over the last two years. Whether you are a group of student wellness ambassadors looking to relay information in an ED-sensitive way, a team of campus counsellors looking for best practices, or coordinating a wellness summit on campus, our facilitators can tailor our virtual programming to meet your needs.

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Professional Development

Our workshops aim to help people recognize disordered eating, reflect on their internalized weight stigma, respond compassionately with someone experiencing disordered eating, and navigate to different pathways to care. For mental health providers, we share latest practices on assessment and time-limited strategies to support your work. We can deliver in-person presentations to clinics, teams, or organizations based in the Greater Toronto Area, and virtual presentations via Zoom to anyone across the country. 

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