An advocacy group is planning a rally at the BC legislature this Tuesday to have government action for better support for people living with eating disorders.
Vancouver Island Voices for Eating Disorders (VIVED) is marking the last day of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, February 7th, with a public rally and a call to action for government officials to make adults living with eating disorders a priority.
“Outpatient services are very limited on the island and those have been cut further since COVID,” said Celeste Macevicius, VIVED member.
“Adults face unique barriers to accessing those services and any inpatient and more tertiary care is on the mainland and again, there’s long waitlists and accessibility barriers for that too.”
Although access to eating disorder resources and outpatient centres is difficult for all who seek them, youth generally have more access to them.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, youth were prioritized and they’re trying to get adult services up and running again but they are extremely limited,” Macevicius told Victoria Buzz.
“It’s not that youth should be getting less services, it’s that adults should also be getting services.”
VIVED exists to advocate for those with eating disorders and to garner government action from their advocacy work. This rally will be a call-to-action and the first public event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a really ongoing problem that’s been under addressed,” said Macevicius. “I hope that this is a rally that calls people in to collaborate for action.”
“By making it political and by bringing in politicians and naming specific things we’re hoping to change, we’re really hoping to emphasize the need for action.”
As part of the rally, attendees will have the opportunity to dedicate a painted rock to the memory of lost loved ones whose lives have been lost to eating disorders or suicide.
The rally will be going on at the BC legislature from noon to 1:15 p.m. on February 7th, the last day of the nationally observed Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
“We’re doing it to memorialize people’s friends and loved ones who have died premature deaths due to their eating disorders,” said Macevicius.
- Where: BC legislature, 501 Belleville Street
- When: Tuesday, February 7th from noon to 1:15 p.m.