Every day when the phone rings at Hopewell’s small office; at the other end is someone is looking for help – to find the resources they need to recover from an eating disorder, to obtain hope that a family member or friend will recover, wondering what they can do to help them, or how to get support for themselves as caregivers.
12 years ago three Ottawa mothers met at CHEO emergency room and realised that they had something in common – more that the fact that they each had a daughter that was struggling with anorexia, but that they had sought support in the community and found none. Frustrated by the lack of information, support and self-help services for eating disorders available in the Ottawa region, they founded Hopewell to provide these vital supports and to work with existing treatment providers to fill gaps in community services for teens, adults and their families coping with eating disorders.
Over the years Hopewell grew, staff were hired, connections made and as the only eating disorder support centre in Eastern Ontario, Hopewell achieved credibility in the community. Now a not-for-profit registered charitable organization that is recognized and supported by the professional community, CHEO and the Ottawa Hospital, Hopewell has become the ‘go to’ place for information on and support for those affected by eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia or binge eating) providing hope, support and information to individuals struggling with eating disorders and to their families and friends.As the only eating disorder support centre in the region it remains the sole support available to people looking for information on how to navigate the system, find professional help, and gain hope for recovery.
Hopewell is proud to have received recognition in the community as recipients of the 2010 CHEO “Let’s Keep Kids out of Hospital” award in the mental health category and the 2010 Canadian Mental Health Association Award “for services to mental health”.
Hopewell offers a number of programs that give families and individuals positive coping skills to use in recovery from an eating disorder. These including telephone, e-mail and face to face peer support, support groups for individuals and families, expressive arts groups, mentoring programs, presentations and workshops for professionals as well as educational presentations in schools and workplaces.
In 2010, Hopewell responded to over 1200 requests for information and support and made presentations to over 3,000 people.
Hopewell also promotes awareness of eating disorders by helping youth understand the importance of healthy attitudes towards body image, eating and physical activity. Hopewell’s presentations are designed to educate participants on healthy attitudes, well being and building self-esteem. Hopewell suggests high schools start the conversation about body image by showing “Teen Truth; An Inside Look at Body Image” to their students. This 22 minute documentary film intertwines compelling teen interviews with true stories of young men and women who are struggling to overcome their dangerous fixations on an unhealthy self-image. With a focus on teen performance enhancing drug use and eating disorders, the film challenges youth to think differently about how they see themselves and their peers. The film is accompanied by a curriculum package to stimulate discussion.
Hopewell receives no ongoing or government funding, and relies entirely on the community for support. We hold two annual fundraising events every year; “Stepping Out for Hopewell” Fashion Show held at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club in October, and the “Love Your Life” Valentine’s Gala held at the Hilton Garden Inn in February.
Hopewell offices are located in Heartwood House – a community of 14 not for profit organizations which allows them to maximize their limited resources by sharing space and services such as reception, photocopying and internet.
- Eating disorders are the most common chronic illnesses in the female adolescent population, with an incidence of up to 5%
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, between 18-20%
- One study suggests that unhealthy dieting behaviours are reported in girls as young as 10 years of age
Significant symptoms of eating disorders were reported by 27% of Ontario schoolgirls aged 12–18 years.
What People Say about Hopewell:
“I am so very appreciative of the work that Hopewell does to help those suffering from an eating disorder. Over the years we have sought help for our daughter from hospitals, psychiatrists … and Hopewell has by far been the best help we have ever received”.
“From our very first contact with Hopewell, we were very much given that hope that we needed at a time when we were at the end of our rope. My hat goes off to all those who work with Hopewell for their expertise, their generosity and their sincere desire to help those afflicted with this disorder.”
Web site: www.hopewell.ca
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 613-241 3428