New Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Unit Opens at Ontario Shores October 1

September 19, 2014

(Whitby, ON) – Children and adolescents will no longer need to travel out of country for treatment with the opening of a new 12-bed Eating Disorders Unit at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) on October 1.

“This first-of-its-kind service is such a unique and tremendous clinical resource for adolescents and their families across Ontario,” says Karim Mamdani, President and CEO, Ontario Shores. “Eating disorders are complex illnesses that can have devastating physical, emotional and psychological impacts. Ontario Shores has a new, state-of-the-art facility with a dedicated team of expert health professionals who will help children and adolescents overcome these illnesses and go on to lead healthy, happy and productive lives.”

The unit has an interprofessional model of care that includes individual, family and group therapy, psycho-education, meal support, nutrition and eating rehabilitation and psychopharmacologic treatment.  Ontario Shores is putting the final touches on this newly built unit that features individual patient bedrooms, kitchen, dining room and lounge area.  There are also group rooms and spaces for patient, family and group therapy.

There will be a pre-admission process, post-discharge support and planning for transition home.  Parent and family involvement is a key component of the clinical programming. During their time at Ontario Shores, patients will also have access to teachers who can assist with their education needs.

“What sets this unit apart from others in the Province is that we are addressing all of the aspects of the disorder.  Our goals are to not only treat the medical components of the illness but through intensive treatment, help children and adolescents recover from the psychological aspects of the illnesses, develop positive eating habits, and ultimately achieve a full recovery so they can enjoy all opportunities their futures have to offer,” says Dr. Leora Pinhas, Physician Lead, Eating Disorders Program.

Ontario Shores would like to acknowledge the partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to create this new program in Ontario. “By investing in this ground breaking facility to treat eating disorders, Ontario is helping more children and youth get the care they need to recover closer to home,” says The Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

An eating disorder is an extreme form of food and/or weight preoccupation that affects approximately 32,400 children and adolescents in Ontario.  Eating disorders are complex illnesses that result from a combination of interacting biological, psychological and socio-environmental factors.    Health professionals can review signs and symptoms, assist with diagnosis and how to get help.

The unit is open to children and adolescents from across the Province who are:

  • Currently attending or eligible to attend school, grades 6 to 12
  • Previous inpatient or day treatment has not resulted in sustained recovery
  • Require an intensive treatment setting
  • Have a local healthcare provider or team
  • Medically stable

Referrals to this program are accepted from healthcare professionals who are providing care in eating disorders programs throughout Ontario.  For more information about this new program, please contact 905.430.4055 ext. 6429.

About Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences:

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a leader in mental health care, providing a range of specialized assessments and treatment services for people living with complex mental illness. Patients benefit from a recovery-oriented environment of care, built on compassion, inspiration and hope. Ontario Shores engages in research, education and advocacy initiatives to advance the mental health care system.

For more information, please contact:

Andrea Marshall
Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 6581
Cell: 905-439-0224