Vancouver Island Voices for Eating Disorders had its roots in the Victoria Eating Disorder Peer Support Group that has been running in Victoria since 2015. Some of issues and concerns that we encountered in group led us to the development of VIVED, which has grown beyond the peer support group. The two are now separate entities.
We want to keep a dialogue about eating disorders and mental health issues ongoing. We want to spread awareness and create partnerships that help us improve the lives of those struggling with eating disorders.
VIVED is registered as an official non-profit society in B.C. as of September 2018.
Annual Report 2018-2019 (below is a summary of the report)
To Our Community
Reflection on Our Vision, Values, and Mission Statements
1. Judgment free - we accept all persons with compassion, regardless of where they are at in their journey.
2. Inclusivity - we aim to foster a sense of belonging through acceptance and compassion. We aim to broaden the ideas that surround eating disorders. To be a voice for those whom stereotypes disadvantage. To work from a place of acknowledgment of the intersections in our society that leave some more disadvantaged than others.
3. Respect - our organization endeavors to embody a consistently respectful nature in all aspects of our business. We direct this respect not only towards ourselves and our work, but also towards the individuals, groups and environments with whom we interact.
4. Safety - we aim to create a safe space where people feel comfortable sharing and learning; where vulnerability is seen as a strength. Where there is no fear of further loss, hurt, of unacceptance.
5. Awareness - we aim to create awareness that allows for education, promotes understanding, encourages curiosity, and creates room for compassion.
Better access to improved services
To improve access to treatment, treatment options, and outcomes.
To create partnerships between patients, families, and professionals.
To raise awareness about eating disorders and mental health.
To shift our cultural attitudes in a positive and healing direction.
To improve the lives of individuals and families living with eating disorders.
The Year in Review (2018-2019) – Letter from Our President
Aside from the current opioid epidemic, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness and contribute to significant morbidity for individuals and families struggling (NEDIC). On Vancouver Island and across the province of British Columbia we are fortunate to have some services dedicated to supporting those struggling with an eating disorder; however, many individuals still fall through the cracks and many services are limited in funding, scope, accessibility, and delivery. Despite the challenges, we believe we can do better in supporting those on their journey through recovery; that is why we exist and persist in the work we do and hope to achieve as an organization and a community.
VIVED started as a simple idea shared between several passionate individuals in 2017. In September of 2018 we incorporated as a non-profit society in the province of British Columbia and over the past year we have had the opportunity to begin to engage with our goals of creating better awareness around eating disorders and related topics (such as weight stigma) and campaigned for better access to improved services. With all of this being done in the hopes of supporting better lives for those in recovery.
In the fall of 2018 two members of VIVED co-authored an opinion piece on weight stigma and thin privilege published in a local newspaper.
In December of 2018 we delivered a presentation on the barriers treatment to treatment individuals face in our community and beyond during the Provincial Adult Tertiary Eating Disorders Program Education Series for clinicians across the province. During this time, we also had the opportunity to meet with Judy Darcy, the current Minister for Mental Health and Addictions. These steps were important for us although precise targeting towards those who can help create changes for eating disorders services in B.C. are better suited to the Ministry of Health which we hope to pursue in future.
In February 2019 we participated in three separate Eating Disorder Awareness Week activities: 1. A panel of speakers with lived experiences delivered a presentation and held a question and answer period at Bolen Books in Victoria, B.C. 2. Purple Up Friday, an annual online event aimed at raising awareness had its biggest success in reaching more people this year! 3. In collaboration with Island Health, we held a night of recovery conversation and inspiration here in Victoria.
In the spring of 2019 VIVED began offering community art events such as rock painting. A simple way to connect with others, build community, and share a sense of hope in recovery. Community art events are something we plan to explore further in the future.
In June of 2019, VIVED was excited to participate in the Canadian Mental Health Association’s annual Ride Don’t Hide event. We held a booth at the event here in Victoria and had a great day connecting with our community and raising awareness about eating disorders with other professionals, community members, and individuals with lived experience. In July 2019 VIVED joined Victoria’s annual Pride Festival and had a fantastic and colourful day raising awareness and celebrating our authentic selves!
We have had a quiet fall as we prepare for our Annual General Meeting and the next steps we hope to take into the coming year.
Through 2018 and 2019 VIVED has raised funds entirely through donations from community members (thank you!) With these donations we have continued to build our website, been able to provide educational materials and resources at community events such as Ride Don’t Hide and Victoria Pride Festival, and finally, we’ve been able to host rock painting events in our community free of charge to participants.
Social Media Reach & Membership
Social Media Reach:
During the past 12 months we have reached the following via social media
· 208 followers on Instagram
· 125 followers on Twitter
· 79 Facebook Members on our VIVED Facebook public group
· 152 Facebook followers on our official Facebook page
We have 15 official members at present. Membership is open to anyone who wishes to be part of this community, it helps us track our reach, has no requirements currently (beyond completing a membership form), and allows us to stay in contact with community members through our e-mail list and newsletter. Membership forms are available on our website and Facebook pages. Please e-mail completed forms to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
While we may be small and just getting started, we are not small in our ambitions. As we move forward into the new year, we hope to embrace changes that allow us to continue doing this work and to make it more accessible for people to share their voices. After all, VIVED is intended to be a collection of voices, OUR voices; together we can create the change we wish to see in the world.
In the coming year we hope to engage with our community more and to make participating in awareness and advocacy activities through VIVED more accessible to folks.
We intend to continue engaging politically on a local and provincial level as we keep pushing for improved access to and broader treatments for individuals and families struggling with eating disorders.
We intend to continue participating in raising awareness through community events and an online presence to help tackle weight stigma and stereotypes around eating disorders.
We hope to create more community through events and gatherings we host or collaborate on with other healthcare professionals and community groups.
These are just a few of the things we hope to carry forward into the coming year. In the end, VIVED can be whatever we (as a community) want it to be.