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Who Are We?

Victoria Eating Disorder Peer Support Group was created in 2015 by Sally Chaster and Elise Slaughter. We offer a free, weekly drop-in group in Victoria, B.C.

We meet every Monday from 6:30 to 8pm in Room C701in the Patient Care Center at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, the building on the corner of Bay and Richmond.

Group is intended to be a safe, nurturing environments for adults struggling with eating disorders to explore and hear new ways of understanding and processing their behaviours.

We support adults aged 18+ who struggle with eating disorders, disordered eating, or any other struggles with food, exercise, or body image that affects quality of life or interferes with day to day living. Members who do not have a diagnosed eating disorder (either from not seeking help, or not being able to access help), but who have a troubled relationship with food and/or body, are completely welcome here. We aim to provide a safe, non-judgmental space for all.

It should be noted that we are not clinicians and we encourage individuals to seek professional support if it is something they are open to. As peers, our facilitators are individuals who are in various places of recovery themselves (some fully recovered, some still in the process of recovery). We are conscious that this may not suit the needs of every attendee and again, we encourage seeking out professional supports.

Guidelines

• This group is free, and is open to any person 18 years or older who struggles with an unhealthy relationship with food and their body that impacts quality of life and the ability to function.

• Eating disorders include restrictive behaviours, bingeing behaviours, purging behaviours - whether after a binge or not – which may include self-induced vomiting, misuse of diet pills and/or laxatives, and compulsive exercise (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and otherwise-specified feeding and eating disorder [OSFED]).

• Any group member who indicates they are at risk of suicide, self-harm or harming another person will be referred to emergency health services.

• Please turn cell phones off during meetings, or set to vibrate if you have a pressing need to be accessible. Please leave the room if you must answer a call.

Logistics:

The group currently takes place every Monday from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in Room C701 (the 7th floor, across from the elevators) in the Patient Care Centre, Royal Jubilee Hospital. Space is limited to 15 participants.

Group Processes

This group is based sometimes on deeper check-ins, and times open talk on subjects chosen by the group and is not a 12-step group. Some groups begin with a two to three minute check-in for each member, other groups go directly to open talk. The peer facilitator with work to ensure everyone in included and welcomed.

Members are encouraged to expand on any successes, strategies they tried during the week and how they worked, or thoughts and behaviours they are struggling with. The goal is to hear from as many people as possible, with each of us engaging in honest reflection and providing supportive and thoughtful feedback.

Members try to set realistic and achievable goals at the end of the group to work on during the next week. Members can also use this time to talk about how they are feeling at this time. Leaders will remain available for a limited time after the group ends for members who are feeling the need for additional closure of the meeting.

It is important to note that our facilitators are in various stages of recovery themselves - some identify as recovered and some are still in the process of recovery.