Student Support Program
Many thanks to RBC for their support of this program
Most eating disorders start in childhood and early teens but often go undiagnosed or under-treated due to lack of awareness, knowledge and training of GPs, educators, and families.
University and college life presents many challenges in normal times, especially for those away from home for the first time. The addition of the anxiety and isolation created by the pandemic has contributed to a surge in eating disorders among this group.
While programs vary from institution to institution, most colleges and universities are unable to provide specialized treatment programs to students with eating disorders even though the demand is significant.
The WaterStone Foundation Student Support Program provides funding to hire eating disorder therapists who will:
- provide individual treatment to students in need
- run support groups for students with eating disorders
- increase awareness and understanding of eating disorders broadly on campus through health promotion activities
- work closely with community-based services and supports
The WaterStone Foundation Student Support Program provides funding to enable a higher ed institution to hire a dedicated eating disorder therapist to provide treatment and support to students in need free of charge for as long as they need it. The program launched in 2022 at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) and George Brown College. Based on the success of the program in its pilot year, the program was expanded to include Carleton University and Durham College and Toronto Metropolitan University and George Brown College were renewed for a second year. As on May 1, 2023, students have received over 1000 counselling hours by an experienced eating disorder therapist free of charge and with minimal wait times. WaterStone plans to expand the program to additional campuses as new funding becomes available.
“We are thankful to WaterStone Foundation for providing the funding to enable us to expand our team and hire a counsellor who specialises in eating disorders. We know that this program will make a difference for many students who need this specific support,” said Clara Tam, Director, Student Integrated Health and Wellbeing, Toronto Metropolitan University.
“George Brown College looks forward to being among the first to benefit from WaterStone Foundation’s program and we’re grateful to the foundation for this initiative,” Sasan Issari, Senior Manager, Counseling and Student Wellbeing, George Brown College