By JUDITH LAVOIE
Victoria Times Colonist, November 28, 2010 - Health
The shortage of treatment beds for British Columbians suffering from eating disorders will ease slightly next year when a new non-profit centre opens on Galiano Island.
The Woodstone Residence, which will be licensed through Vancouver Island Health Authority, will open in February. The province will fund 10 out of the 20 beds, Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon said Friday.
The remainder of the beds will be privately funded.
The new facility will be "part of strengthening our provincial eating disorders services," Falcon said.
The centre will provide residential care for medically stable patients with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Most patients are expected to be between 17 and 24 and most are likely to stay for two or three months.
The centre will try to intercept eating disorders before they become crises. It will also treat patients who have been discharged from hospital, but need more care before returning home.
The province will pay operational funding of $4.1 million over three years. Start-up costs will be covered by the Looking Glass Foundation, a group that provides support for people with eating disorders and their families.
The foundation was formed a decade ago by three mothers who watched their daughters struggle with eating disorders.
"We are thrilled to see this day arrive and to know that our perseverance has paid off for the benefit of so many in B.C. who suffer from various eating disorders," said Looking Glass founder Cindy Dobbe.
Currently, the province has 14 in-patient beds for youths and seven for adults with eating disorders.
In 2008, an estimated 52,187 girls and women and 5,267 boys and men in B.C were living with a clinically diagnosed eating disorder.