Erie St. Clair LHIN Promising Specialized Care To Battle Eating Disorders

Stroke patients in the Chatham, Windsor and Sarnia areas could soon see more enhanced care at home following a hospital stay. Sept 19, 2017. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

A brave Windsor woman is making a difference for those suffering with life threatening Anorexia Nervosa and other eating disorders like Bulimia.

23-year-old Juliana Winik made a heartfelt plea at the Erie St. Clair LHIN Board meeting on Tuesday for a day patient program closer to home and got some traction.

The LHIN says it provides a very small amount of money to three Windsor agencies and is now working to soon provide specialized care in our area, including meal and peer support, dietitian and therapy.

Winik says closer access to outpatient support is desperately needed because right now she’s lucky to get one hour of support a week at the Teen Health Centre in Windsor.

“I got home from treatment in May and since coming home I’ve had probably eight people reach out to me and asked where I’ve gone for help, how do I get help because I have a cousin or sister or someone struggling that they know,” says Winik.

Winik has been living with Anorexia Nervosa for almost a decade. She says she’s had everything from a slow heart beat to a low body temperature and fainting spells.

About 1% of the population lives with Anorexia Nervosa and 2.5% suffer with Bulimia.

Dr. Andrea Steen and Vice President Sonja Grbevski of Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare in Windsor say they would be happy and willing to host the new out patient service.

Winik says she’s traveled to London, Guelph and Toronto to get in-patient hospital treatment and sometimes is told she’s not sick enough for a bed.

“One of the things with Anorexia is the belief already that you’re not sick enough and that’s part of the illness and when you already have those thoughts in your head and you go to the hospital and you hear that confirmed, it is very impacting in a negative way,” Winik says.

Winik says the illness is very frustrating because there’s times she’s had to wait three months for treatment.

“Get something going and help others because I struggle with this illness as well, so I would like more care, but for others as well because it’s a huge issue, more than we even know,” says Winik.