Government of Canada invests $1.28M to support youth experiencing eating disorders

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HALIFAX, NS, March 17, 2023 – The Government of Canada understands that mental health is health, and is working to ensure that all people in Canada, regardless of where they live, have access to the vital mental health supports they need. This includes young people, who continue to be particularly vulnerable to the disruptions COVID-19 has caused.

Today, Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced $1.28 million in funding to Eating Disorders Nova Scotia, to expand their existing peer support programs nationally. This will be done through a partnership with Body Brave, and will allow for peer support information and resources to be available virtually to youth, families, and caregivers across Canada through their Recovery Support Program. An implementation guide will also be developed to help communities across Canada create and implement their own peer support programs for those with eating disorders.

Today’s investment builds on the historic announcement the Government of Canada made in February of $198.6 billion over 10 years to improve health care services for Canadians, reduce surgical backlogs, support health workers, and improve integrated mental health and substance use services. We will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure that all Canadians have the mental health and substance use supports they need to maintain their well-being now, and into the future.


“Just as anyone can develop an eating disorder, anyone can also get better, but supports and resources must be readily available. Today’s funding will help more young people in Nova Scotia and across Canada struggling with an eating disorder find support and encouragement from their peers, community members, and loved ones. I am grateful to Eating Disorders Nova Scotia and partners for all their incredible work to support those working on their recovery path!”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett 
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health 

“Peer support programs are proven to have a positive impact on health and well-being, including for the treatment and management of eating disorders and disordered eating. Eating Disorders Nova Scotia is using peer support in their work with youth and their families to help facilitate recovery and promote overall well-being.”

Andy Fillmore
Member of Parliament for Halifax

“We believe that no one should have to face an eating disorder alone. Peer support creates opportunities for connection, validation, and skill development, all of which reduce stigma and promote recovery. Investing in this e-mental health program allows people from anywhere in Canada access resources and supports for recovery.”

Shaleen Jones
Executive Director, Eating Disorders Nova Scotia

Quick Facts

  • This announcement is part of a $100 million investment provided in Budget 2021 to support projects that promote mental health and prevent mental illness in populations disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include youth, seniors, First Nations, Inuit and Métis, Black and other racialized people in Canada, front-line and other essential workers, and others whose mental health has been, and continues to be especially impacted by the pandemic.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the mental health of people in Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
  • Mental health promotion and mental illness prevention are critical components for wellbeing and can help reduce demands on the health care system. Community-based projects focussed on mental health promotion have the potential to improve health outcomes over the life course. 
  • Renison University College, at the University of Waterloo, is hosting the Knowledge Development and Exchange Hub for Mental Health Promotion (KDE Hub) to support the projects funded through this investment helping to build a community with shared interests in optimizing mental health promotion and mental illness prevention across Canada.
  • The Wellness Together Canada portal provides free access to educational content, self-guided therapy, moderated peer-to-peer support, and one-to-one counselling with qualified health professionals. If you or a loved one is struggling, you can access the Wellness Together Canada portal, or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 (adults) or 686868 (youth).
  • Kids Help Phone is also available 24/7 with e-mental health service offering free, confidential support to young people in English and French.

Associated Links

SOURCE Health Canada

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