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POPULATION HEALTH: Promotion and Prevention 

Help and HOPE for Eating Disorders (2 of 3)  
6 February 2012

Treatment goals

Kelly Maloney is the clinical leader and dietitian with the HOPE Program. She says while treatment goals are individualized, the goals of the program generally include improving a client’s body image and self esteem, improving their relationship with food, restoring weight, where applicable and interrupting the binge/purge cycle where applicable.

“We also work with our clients to establish healthy levels of physical activity and exercise and an overall healthier lifestyle, to create healthy interpersonal relationships and provide support to their families, who, in turn, play a key role in their loved one’s success.”

Help and HOPE for Eating Disorders: staff quote
Setting and achieving these goals has a profound impact on your life, according to the client referenced earlier. He says the fact that he is male kept him from seeking help for many years, because he was afraid he would be judged more harshly – fears he now says were unfounded.
 
“The clients and their parents and partners have all felt many of the same emotions that you are going through; there is so much acceptance and understanding that you no longer feel so isolated. The staff is professional and not judgmental.  They truly are there to help you at your own pace and confidentiality is assured. My advice to anyone suffering silently with this disorder is to not be embarrassed. You absolutely must come out and talk to somebody about this disorder.  Do not hesitate.  It could be life changing.”

Access and Referral
 
There are times that family, friends and even co-workers may suspect someone close to them is wrestling with an eating disorder, and may benefit from services offered by the Hope Program, but are unsure of the criteria for admittance.
 
In order to be referred to the program, a client must meet the diagnostic criteria for an Eating Disorder, i.e. Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa. He or she must be medically stable as assessed by his or her family physician, internist or pediatrician. Although HOPE has a part-time family physician on staff, clients are asked to continue to see their family physician to ensure medical follow up after discharge from the program.
 
Kelly says the HOPE program is structured in a way that avoids a waiting list. “When we get a referral, the intake process begins immediately and once all information is gathered, the client is assigned a care coordinator and a treatment plan is developed. Treatment is based on a motivational approach and clients must be willing to participate in group based therapy, although individual therapy is also offered.”
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Updated Feb 7, 2012