Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that can have life threatening consequences. Family Medical Practitioners should be involved whenever possible. If you or your loved one is in MEDICAL DANGER, medical intervention MUST be initiated immediately.
You may also find it helpful to review and print off this guide to working with your primary healthcare provider, to help facilitate a productive and collaborative initial consultation.
Alberta Health Services provides free services to residents of Alberta.
Services vary somewhat by location in the province and by medical need.
Two eating disorder treatment programs exist in Alberta, one in Edmonton and one in Calgary. Each offers a comprehensive, team-based approach to eating disorders, bringing the expertise of many together.
Please note: the two programs are not identical and each has its own approach, protocols and procedures.
To learn more, click HERE
Private Outpatient Services are not funded through Alberta Health Services
Services for eating disorders usually include psychology services, dietary services and pharmaceutical and psychiatry services.
Finding the right clinicians can be a daunting task but building the right team can make all the difference in the world to your success in treatment.
The NEDA Parent Toolkit offers some very good advise regarding how to chose your therapist.
Fees can vary significantly between therapists. Some therapists offer a sliding scale for fees based on ability to pay. Be sure that you discuss the fee structure with your clinician and understand it before you enter into services.
Some Extended Health Care Benefit programs
(these are the programs are offered through employers or private health coverage such as Blue Cross) may cover some costs for treatment. It is critical that you understand your insurance coverage before entering into services with any clinician.
See the following page, Private Outpatient Services, for a listing of services that are available in Alberta, as well as direct links to their web sites.
Residential treatment for eating disorders provides a treatment option with a high level of support and supervision. Clients often enter residential treatment for 30 days to 12 months or longer. During treatment, clients receive individual therapy, supported meals, group therapy, nutritional counseling, and education. Residential treatment centers also often have some type of family therapy component as well. This may utilize telephone or distance counseling sessions. Residential centers are also able to offer unique opportunities such as supported outings to restaurants and therapies such as art therapy. Often individuals are required to be 'medically stable' prior to admission.
One of the positive things about being at a treatment center is that all of the treatment team members typically meet and talk on a frequent basis with each other and are all on the same page, working towards the same treatment goals.
Each treatment center maintains its own standards as to what a person’s physical state (weight, blood pressure, etc.) must be in order for them to accept the person as a patient.
See the following page, Residential Treatment Centers, for a listing of facilities in western Canada, as well as direct links to their web sites.