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 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 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% of young women age 15 to 24 in BC. 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% 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 BC’s more rural and remote locations.
“We are so thrilled to be able to make these videos available and to share the knowledge and expertise of our specialized staff with communities in BC, where families and health care providers may not have easy access to such information,” said Dr. Raymond Boutet, Director of the Provincial Eating Disorders Program, housed 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 child and youth mental health services. The Collaborative brings together a wide array of people into Local Actions Teams designed to find collective community solutions to specific mental health issues.
There are now 65 local action teams all across BC. The funding for the Collaborative comes primarily from the Shared Care Committee, a joint committee of the Doctors of BC and the BC Government. Funding for the whole initiative has also come from two other joint Doctors of BC/BC government committees.