With another successful Bell Let’s Talk Day behind us, we can’t help but think about the need to keep the conversation going the other 364 days of the year. Mental health issues come in all shapes and sizes, some more recognizable than others. And while there’s no question that depression and anxiety are related to mental health, it can be a little trickier to make the connection when it comes to eating disorders.
Perhaps that’s why there are still so many misconceptions surrounding the condition. Vanity is often to blame for what is actually a much deeper, more complex problem. It may come as no surprise, then, that individuals struggling with eating disorders may vehemently deny a problem even exists.
So if you’re concerned about a staff member (or family member, or friend) who you feel may have an eating disorder, what’s the best way to offer support? Start by reminding yourself that it is not a choice, but in fact, a coping strategy. Your employee has likely experienced some form of trauma or hardship in their life, and is trying to gain back some control. Then, ever so carefully, initiate a conversation.
For National Eating Disorder Week, we’re sharing a conversation guide to help you broach this very difficult subject, courtesy of our friends at the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC). It may be one of the most important one-on-ones you have with a staff member this year.