There is a lack of inpatient care for people who suffer from eating disorders in Toronto. Research has shown this is a significant problem that has continued to grow. A report on mental illnesses in Canada recounted that the rate of people who have needed to be hospitalized for inpatient care after suffering from eating disorders has increased by 34% among young women under the age of 15 and by 29% from 15-24 year olds. The problem is that there is an extremely long waiting list to get into an inpatient care program here in Toronto and a lack of inpatient programs in itself here in Toronto. Dr. Blake Woodside, Director of Toronto General Hospital’s Eating Disorder program explained that a patient must be referred to a program by their family doctor. There is 2-4 week period to be seen for a consultation, then a 2-4 week wait to have an inpatient assessment and then about a 2-3 month wait period to get a bed in one of these programs. Most of these people who are waiting are very ill and require immediate medical attention.
There are only three programs that offer inpatient care here in Toronto; one is for children up to 12 years old suffering from Eating Disorders which is at Sick Kids Hospital. There is a program in Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, which has only 4 beds available. Lastly the Toronto General Hospital which only has 12 beds with patients sharing the same rooms as the general psyche patients. In light of this research it is easy to see there is an extreme lack of resources for inpatient care here in Toronto.
We are advocating to raise awareness to the public on this very serious issue regarding the lack of inpatient services here in Toronto. We demand more funding towards inpatient programs to become available in order to support the growing number of individuals who suffer from eating disorders.
Our goal is to raise enough awareness around this issue so that governing agencies are forced to become more educated on this topic and recognize the importance of funding for eating disorders. We are aiming to get at least 500 people to petition to support our effort. Once we have successfully gotten 500 signatures or online pledges we will send out this letter and the petition to Canada's Minister of Health, Leona Aglukkaq and Ontario's Minister of Health, Deb Matthews. Please pledge your support for this cause by signing our petition.
Kristen McKay started this petition with a single signature, and now has 383 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.