Andrew HolotaBlack Press
It’s National Eating Disorders Week 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 are being released across the province.
The seven videos feature experts from the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program, located at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, giving presentations about 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 9 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.
The videos were filmed last year in Kimberley BC, when six experts from the provincial program travelled to the region to present a day long-workshop. Now the edited videos are being released province-wide to help spread the knowledge more widely to other regions that may struggle with how to provide up-to-date and effective treatment in B.C.’s more rural and remote locations.
“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 BC, 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.
The Collaborative is a province-wide initiative that aims to improve the awareness, coordination, and timely access of children and youth to mental health services. It brings together a wide array of people in Local Actions Teams designed to find collective community solutions to specific mental health issues.
There are now 65 local action teams across B.C. Funding for the Collaborative comes primarily from the Shared Care Committee, a joint committee of the Doctors of BC and the B.C. Government.
A link to the videos can be found under the News & Events heading at sharedcarebc.ca.