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  • Writer's pictureWestwind

At the Heart of it All: The 5th EDAC-ATAC Biennial Conference

Westwind is really excited to be participating in the 5th EDAC-ATAC Biennial Conference: At the Heart of it All, to be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 29th and 30th, 2016. This conference will provide an opportunity to learn of cutting edge research in Child and Adolescent and Adult Eating Disorders, as well as to network with colleagues from across the nation. The keynote speakers for the event will be Dr. Howard Steiger (McGill University) and Dr. Carolyn Becker (Trinity University).

Many of the Westwind staff will be attending the conference. We feel that ongoing awareness and information of updated best practices is very important to Westwind and we are dedicated and committed to continuing education. We also are a sponsor of the conference and will have our booth set up so we encourage anyone to come by and say hello.

This conference is excited to be partnering with the National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED) for a day-long pre-conference networking event. Both EDAC and NIED are excellent organizations in the field and do a great job in increasing awareness and research in the field of eating disorders.

EDAC-ATAC is a Canadian registered not-for-profit organization of professionals in the field of eating disorders and related areas. The mandate of EDAC-ATAC is to best serve the needs of those whose lives are impacted by eating disorders.

The specific objectives of EDAC-ATAC are:

  • To educate each other regarding best practices.

  • To encourage sharing of information amongst EDAC-ATAC members about all issues of eating disorders care.

  • To promote a reflective and responsive approach in the provision of care and amongst providers.

They encourage those involved in the care and research of eating disorders to stand up and be counted amongst peers from across Canada in strengthening this new and first ever Canadian association of eating disorder professionals. For more information about EDAC-ATAC or to become a member, please go to

The National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED) was formally launched on February 22, 2012 by Mark Adler, Member of Parliament for York Centre. As a not-for-profit coalition of health care professionals, counsellors and parents with children suffering from Eating Disorders, NIED’s team aims to help bring about positive change in both the availability and quality of treatment of Eating Disorders in Canada. They are actively promoting education, collaborating with community groups, doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, schools, social workers, the courts, agencies, and like-minded organizations to increase awareness, understanding and prevention of Eating Disorders. NIED aims to increase awareness and education of the chronic situation facing Eating Disorder sufferers and their families in Canada. More information about NIED can be found at

These are two of many organizations that work towards increasing awareness and debunking myths in the field of eating disorders. Another great resource in increasing awareness is NEDIC (National Eating Disorder Information Centre) and their website offers many resources at

One of the benefits of increasing awareness is to debunk some of the myths associated with the disorder. Below is borrowed from a resource off of the NEDIC website that helps to shed light on some truths.

  • Truth #1: You can't tell by looking at someone whether they have an eating disorder.

  • Truth #2: Families are not to blame.

  • Truth #3: Families can be the patients' best allies in treatment.

  • Truth #4: Eating disorders are not choices, but serious biologically-influenced mental illnesses.

  • Truth #5: Eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.

  • Truth #6: Eating disorders carry an increased risk for both suicide and physical/medical complications.

  • Truth #7: Genes play a role in eating disorders, but environment also influences their development.

  • Truth #8: Genes are not destiny when it comes to eating disorders.

  • Truth #9: Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible.

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