The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) has announced that, thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, it has reached its fundraising goal of $70,000 to support the addition of a web-based instant chat option to its existing helpline services. The cheque was presented at last week’s 6th annual Zest for Life event.
NEDIC’s instant chat, the first service of its kind in Canada, will fill a necessary gap in online mental health services by targeting youth, who have statistically felt more comfortable using instant chat or text options to seek support.
“For decades, our helpline resource has had a profound impact on the lives of Canadians struggling with eating disorders. The new instant chat feature is the next opportunity for us to remain relevant and accessible to an increasingly tech-savvy demographic,” says Suzanne Phillips, NEDIC Program Manager.
NEDIC has operated Canada’s only toll-free eating disorder helpline for more than 30 years. It provides information, support and referrals or Canadians struggling with an eating disorder or for those looking for information to support a friend or family member. More than 95 per cent of callers receive appropriate resource referrals during their initial contact with helpline staff, which includes registered dietitians, social workers and counsellors.
“Eating disorders are wrought with stigma. The anonymity and confidentiality of our helpline gives Canadians a chance to talk about their struggle. By extending our services to include instant chat, we are removing barriers to our services and further empowering individuals to discuss their experience and determine their next steps,” says Phillips.
The instant chat, expected to launch next month, will enable NEDIC to reach an additional 1,200 Canadians each month.
In addition to support from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, we would like to thank the following organizations and individuals for helping NEDIC raise the funds needed to implement this life-changing service:
- Echo Foundation
- The Philip Sung Design Associates
- SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU.
- TELUS Greater Toronto Area Community Board
- Troy Alexandra McClure
For more information on NEDIC please visit, nedic.ca.