Eating disorders can be deadly

Eating disorders (ED) affect 1.5 per cent of young women age 15 to 24 in B.C.

It’s National Eating Disorders Week (Feb. 21 – 27) and as part of a provincial plan to better inform British Columbian families and health care providers about this deadly disorder, a series of informational videos is being released across the province.

The seven videos feature experts from the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program, located in BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, giving presentations about the medical assessment and management, various therapies, meal support and more.

Included in the seven videos is one about the family experience, which features Rylee McKinlay, 20, and her mother Terri McKinlay.  When Rylee was 16 she was hospitalized for nine weeks at BC Children’s for her anorexia. At her sickest, her heart rate was so low she was at risk of dying of heart failure.

Eating disorders (ED) affect 1.5 per cent of young women age 15 to 24 in B.C. In recent years, rates of EDs have been increasing in men, too. EDs are the deadliest of all mental health concerns, with up to 15 per cent of those with the diagnosis eventually dying directly from the disorder.

“We are thrilled to be able to make these videos available. It is important to us to share the knowledge and expertise of our specialized staff with families and health care providers across all of B.C., particularly in communities that may not have easy access to this information,” said Sarah Bell, provincial executive director, mental health and concurrent disorders services at BC Children’s Hospital.

The videos are a project of the East Kootenay Local Action Team, which is part of the province-wide Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative.

There are now 65 local action teams all across B.C. The funding for the Collaborative comes primarily from the Shared Care Committee, a joint committee of the Doctors of BC and the B.C. Government. Funding for the whole initiative has also come from two other joint Doctors of BC/BC government committees.

 

The videos can be found at:  http://sharedcarebc.ca/initiatives/CYMHSU-Resources .