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Eating Disorders Nova Scotia

Associated Organization

Eating Disorders Nova Scotia (EDNS) is a community based organization that offers peer support for individuals with eating disorders, and for their families, friends and partners.Our team includes our Coordinator, facilitators who lead our peer support groups, and mentors who provide one-on-one peer support.

In addition we provide:

  • Education for caregivers, clinicians, school staff and others
  • Assistance navigating the mental health system
  • Advocacy for the prevention, treatment and support of eating disorders

Programs are free of charge, and do not require a referral or diagnosis.

EDNS is generously supported by the NS Department of Health and Wellness, IWK Community Grants, the Medavie Health Foundation, and the Mental Health Foundation of NS, and your donations.

How we got started

In 1998 a group of women who had recovered from eating disorders created the Eating Disorders Action Group (EDAG). EDAG offered peer support, education workshops and advocacy for people suffering from eating disorders until it lost its core funding. In 2010 the work being done by EDAG became the Eating Disorders Project under the umbrella of the Self Help Connection, a provincial organization with the infrastructure required to build and sustain this critical work. The next few years were spent building capacity in the areas of peer support programs and education and in 2014 Eating Disorders Nova Scotia was launched.

Learn More about Peer Support

Peer support is based on the belief that people who have fully recovered from an eating disorder are uniquely able to help others to find their own path to recovery.

Peer Support has a well established body of research showing its usefulness across a wide range of health conditions for:

  • reducing symptoms,
  • lowering reliance on formal health care use,
  • increasing a sense of self-efficacy,
  • providing necessary social support,
  • improving the ability to cope with stress,
  • enhancing the quality of life.

Learn more about eating disorders

Eating disorders are complex and serious illnesses with the highest death rate of any mental illness 1.

Although Anorexia and Bulimia are most well known, other eating disorders like Binge Eating Disorder, and Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (which include anorexia without the low weight, subclinical bulimia, and purging disorder) are more common and can be just as devastating. 2

Almost 1 in 10 people will experience an eating disorder during their lifetime. Among girls under 20, 1 in 6 will develop an eating disorder. 3 Although eating disorders most commonly begin in adolescence, anyone can be affected, regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic status, or ethnic background.

It is now recognized that between 50% and 80% of a person's risk for an eating disorder is a result of genetic and biological factors. 4 Regardless of contributing factors, in almost all cases of eating disorders, dieting or caloric restriction is often the trigger. In fact, restrictive dieting increases the risk of developing an eating disorder 18 times. 

With support and treatment, full recovery is possible. 

Our People

Our team includes our Coordinator, facilitators who lead our peer support groups, and mentors who provide one-on-one peer support. We also work closely with our project evaluator and our Community of Practice Mentors.

Every one providing group or one-on-one peer support has: 

  • Personally experienced eating disorders and has been recovered for many years
  • Completed specialized training in offering peer support, based on national standards
  • Ongoing engagement in peer support education through our Community of Practice