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Visions Journal

A reminder that this article from our magazine Visions was published more than 1 year ago. It is here for reference only. Some information in it may no longer be current. It also represents the point of the view of the author only. See the author box at the bottom of the article for more about the contributor.

Kamloops Community Eating Disorders Program

Carol Graff

Reprinted from "Eating Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2002, No. 16, p. 32

Kamloops Mental Health offers a community-based Eating Disorders Program utilizing a multidisciplinary approach to promote, preserve and restore health. The program has undergone numerous changes since its humble beginnings in 1995, including a recent move to the Royal Inland Hospital, Alumni Tower.

We believe that a team approach is most effective in facilitating the recovery process, as each team member addresses unique areas of specialty in order to promote and/or restore health. Team counsellors who are trained social workers/therapists provide individual and group work for adults, youth, children and families. The nutritionist provides nutrition education, assistance in designing and implementing a meal plan, and help in interrupting the restricting and/or binge/purge cycle with the aim of normalizing eating habits. The occupational therapist provides functional assessment and assists individuals in areas such as self-care, work and leisure to ensure a balanced lifestyle. The therapist can also support the development of tools and strategies in the areas of daily living skills, stress/relaxation, anxiety, and communication. Our team is further supported by the services of a general practitioner for adult clients, a pediatrician for clients under the age of 18, and a psychologist.

A community advisory committee with representatives from both the treatment team and the community serves to respond to the needs of the community and ensures that the program provides services to cover the identified gaps.

The Eating Disorder Program has recently received a number of referrals for childhood obesity, an area requiring the skills of a multidisciplinary team. As research continues to come forward, it is increasingly clear that this is an area of significant need. With the limited resources of the Eating Disorder Team, it must be determined if this becomes the future direction for the team or if the limited resources will need to remain focused on the treatment and prevention of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

The Kamloops Community Eating Disorders program accepts referrals from individuals (self-referral), family members or friends, physicians, hospital staff, school counselors, university/college staff and community agencies in the Thompson Cariboo Shuswap Health Service Area. The treatment team in Kamloops has worked hard to establish and maintain strong relationships with all referral sources and with tertiary services at both St. Paul’s Hospital and BC Children’s Hospital. These links help to enable a seamless transition for treatment, and both liaison and support for those in the community.

For more information or to make a referral, please call (250) 851-7450.

About the author
Carol Graff, RDN is employed with the Thompson Cariboo Shuswap Health Service Area and works for Community Mental Health Services out of Kamloops. Carol has worked as a dietitian/ nutritionist for mental health since 1995, with specific focus on the development and ongoing operation of the Community Eating Disorder Program. She has worked with clients struggling with disordered eating since 1992

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