Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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St. Joseph's Care Group

Addictions & Mental Health

Eating Disorders Program

Eating Disorders are not just about food... nor are they only about shape and weight. Eating disorders can affect anyone. They also affect those who love them. If you are concerned that you may have an eating disorder or are worried about someone else, then we can help you figure out your next step. It is important to know that Eating Disorders can be treated.

Our Program

How does someone get into the Eating Disorders Program?

Being a part of our program is not difficult. The best way is to get a referral from your family physician or nurse practitioner who should have the necessary forms.

Referral Form for medical practitioner

Eating Disorders Referral Form

What can I expect once you have my referral?

We believe in the importance of teamwork and you are an important member of your treatment team. When you first come to the program, you will meet with a nurse practitioner, a registered dietitian and one of our registered mental health clinicians so that we can get to know more about you. We will also ask you to fill in some questionnaires. By the time you leave, you will have a clearer idea of how our team will be able to help you, you will know if this program is a good fit for you and if so, you will be given another appointment.

If you are under 18, you can also expect you and your family to be invited to meet with the family therapist. We want to help both you and those who love you to support you in the best manner possible.

Diagram of Eating Disorders Referral Process

Regional Services

The Regional Outreach Eating Disorder Program is offered under the services of the Ministry of Health. It offers consultation, support, training and leadership within Northwestern Ontario through the use of innovative programming and virtual technologies. Our program provides leadership and support in developing and expanding linkages between communities and agencies within the region as well as between out communities/agencies, more intensive services available outside the region.

The Regional Outreach Program believes that services to individuals should be offered with the least intrusive intervention possible for effective treatment, and that the needs of individuals are preferably met in their own communities. We are committed to providing consultation, support and training to regional professionals, agencies and communities to support this belief.

In addition, the Regional Outreach Eating Disorder Program's consultation, support and training services are based on best practices in the field of Eating Disorders. As Eating Disorders are often complex, we are committed to supporting the use of a multi-disciplinary team approach, whenever possible and when it is determined by the need of the client. Out multidisciplinary team consist of the Regional Clinician, Family Therapist, Consulting Psychologist, Registered Dietitian and Nurse Practitioner.

Service Delivery Model

Access to all services is through the Regional Resource Clinician. Health Professionals in the region can access information and obtain consultations from the Program. This is completed through telephone or email contact. Members of the multidisciplinary team will also be available for consultation utilizing a Stepped Care Approach and Shared Care Model as follows:

Northwestern Ontario Regional Map
Northwestern Ontario Regional Map
  • Non-identifying client phone/email
  • Consultation request by clinician
  • Identified Client - Virtual Consultation
  • Recommendations provided
  • Potential referral for full EDP team assessment
  • Client review and follow-up


Being informed is always an important first step: it helps to know what you are dealing with, it gives you a clearer sense of direction and provides you with the knowledge to proceed.

The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) is a program of the University Health Network, located within the Toronto General Hospital and available to all Canadians. NEDIC provides valuable, up to date information including resources and support that you can access either on-line or in person if you live in the Toronto area.

If you are seeking resources, we suggest that you start your search here:


The province of Ontario funds three levels of care in the treatment of Eating Disorders: Inpatient Treatment, Day Programming and Outpatient Treatment. The Eating Disorders Program at St. Joseph’s Care Group is mandated to provide Outpatient Treatment.

We want you to remain safe and supported in your treatment. Therefore, we will assist you in choosing the most effective level of care, providing the best chance for your successful recovery.

While you are with us, you can expect to have a combination of the following on your team:

Registered Dietitian

Your Registered Dietitian will be working with you to figure out what your body's energy requirements are, to create a plan that is workable for you and to support you as you make changes.

Registered Social Worker or Registered Psychotherapist

Your therapist will be working with you to help you manage your worries and concerns, any fears of change and any issue that you believe to be relevant in your life.

Family Therapist

As we know that the most effective treatment for youth is Family Based Therapy for Eating Disorders, our Family Therapist will be involved with all youth under the age of 18.

Nurse Practitioner

Medical complications are a high priority in eating disorder treatment. To maintain your safety while we continue to support you, medical monitoring with our Nurse Practitioner may be recommended.


We make our decisions based on the information we have. Our program provides a variety of groups designed for those struggling with an eating disorder. Receiving accurate information allows you to use it wisely.

What happens if I get really ill?

If you are a youth whose physician has determined that you are medically unstable, inpatient care is available at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Our program works very closely with the pediatric team to ensure the best care possible.

If you are an adult, our team will discuss the possibility of referring you to a more intensive treatment centre elsewhere in Ontario.

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