As part of its campaign to raise awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental illness, Bell has donated $500,000 to the Ste. Justine Hospital, which will be used to open a Mother-Child Centre for Eating Disorders, the first of its kind in the province.
In the past four years, there has been a 44 per cent increase of young patients with eating disorders being admitted into the hospital. Pediatrician Danielle Taddeo, head of the Adolescent Medicine in the hospital’s Department of Pediatrics, suggests multiple factors, including cultural and social pressure, genetics, and domestic circumstances.
The new centre aims to prevent the development of eating disorders and will cater to youths between the ages of 6 to 18, as well as pregnant women. It will serve as a day hospital, bridging the gap between the services currently provided, which are hospitalization and outpatient care. The day centre will open in about a year and offer a more personalized level of treatment where individuals will be working directly with doctors and staff during the day, but will be able to return home in the evenings. The hospital already offers services like workshops for parents, on how to support their children with the social reintegration process, but will now work towards creating a more “familial approach as well,” with more inclusive and comprehensive communication between the parties, Dr. Taddeo said. “We really want to create a team with these kids and their parents,” she added.
Approximately 75 per cent of patients being referred to the Ste. Justine Hospital are from outside of Montreal. Of all mental illnesses, eating disorders globally account for the highest number of deaths amongst younger populations. These disorders not only affect academic performance and one’s social life, but can lead to serious health issues and other mental illnesses.
For more information, call 514-345-4931, or visit www.chusj.org/en/Home