For the past 10 years The National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED) has focused on raising Awareness, Understanding and Action for Canadians with Eating Disorders, their Caregivers and loved ones.
Now, as we enter our second decade, we are fundraising to support future initiatives that will raise the bar even higher.
NIED is a totally volunteer-run organization who, in the last 10 years, facilitated 76 free educational symposia with expert speakers and courageous individuals sharing lived experiences. They tirelessly advocated to get Eating Disorders on all mental health agendas provincially and federally and raised awareness within Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Stats Canada and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
“NIED is by far one of the most influential organizations in the field of Eating Disorders advocacy in the country. Their work is unparalleled, their reach expansive, and their commitment to breaking down barriers has led to much-needed changes in a system poorly equipped to treat Eating Disorders. They are tireless advocates, fierce leaders and visionaries.”… Dr. Anita Federici. PH.D C.PSYCH
NIED became an active member of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH), one of 13 national mental health organizations representing Eating Disorders nationwide.
A turning point for Eating Disorders in Canada came in 2016 when NIED hosted a meeting with the Canadian Eating Disorders community that inspired an alliance between four national organizations - the Canadian Eating Disorders Association – L’Association des troubles alimentaires du Canada (EDAC-ATAC), the Eating Disorders Foundation of Canada (EDFC), the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) and NIED. Over 450 organizations identified six priorities: Prevention, Public Education and Awareness, Treatment, Caregiver Support, Training and Research and this group went on to develop the first-ever Canadian Eating Disorders Strategy - a 10-year blueprint for change that launched in November 2019.
NIED has played a vital role in World Eating Disorders Action Day in conjunction with 160 countries whose mission is to unite activists across the globe to expand global awareness of Eating Disorders as genetically linked, treatable illnesses that can affect anyone. Many of the initiatives Canada developed have become a worldwide template.
NIED’s Hand Knit Hope Program has brought knitters together to lovingly make close to 1,000 items that provide comfort and hope to those affected with Eating Disorders, all of which were donated to spread warmth to Eating Disorders programs and other organizations locally and in eight provinces.
NIED, will conduct a major study in collaboration with 30 partners that will include researchers, scientists, physicians, healthcare professionals, people with lived experience and policy makers to provide a clear empirically-driven synopsis of the total economic burden (including a psycho-social cost breakdown) that Eating Disorders impose on the Canadian Economy. The Economic Burden Study, as it is referred to, is the first of its kind in Canada. Key anticipated outcomes include recommendations for post-pandemic care to inform policy development, the allocation of funding for both community and hospital-based services, and recommendations for actions required to better support the recovery of those challenged by this serious mental illness.
NIED is also part of a national working group collaborating on unifying messaging for Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) from February 1st to 7th, an event whereby organizations across the country host local events, light up notable landmarks in purple, and engage in public education campaigns to generate greater awareness about Eating Disorders. The week helps educate about the impact of Eating Disorders, dispels the myths and stigmas associated with them and illuminates the tremendous gaps in funding and services, with the ultimate goal of motivating those decision makers in positions of influence to provide, among other things, better and more affordable prevention and treatment options, enhanced training for professionals and greater support for caregivers.
It has been a momentous 10 years but there is so much more that needs to be done.
Thank you for helping us make a difference!