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Eating Disorders

We assess and treat children, youth and young adults with eating disorders in our Specialized Eating Disorder Program and the Looking Glass Residence.

Who we treat

We assess and treat children and youth for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other severe eating disorders. Our programs include outpatient and inpatient treatment for children and youth up to age 18, as well as live-in treatment at the Looking Glass Residence (ages 16-24). Our programs serve patients from BC and the Yukon who require services above and beyond what their community services can provide.

Our health care team

During assessment and treatment, we consult and work with you and your child, your family, your care providers and community partners. You work with a large team that includes nurses, psychiatric nurses, social workers, family therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, occupational therapists, dietitians, teachers, adolescent medicine specialists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, researchers and other disciplines as needed.

Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program

  • Outpatient treatment means you and your child (up to 18 years old) will have appointments during business hours at BC Children's Hospital.
  • Inpatient treatment means your child or youth (up to the age of 18) is admitted to stay at the hospital if a more intensive level of care is needed.
  • Looking Glass Residence is a voluntary treatment program for youth and young adults (age 16-24). It is for those who wish to take part in an intensive live-in program that focuses on exploring and maintaining recovery.
Duration of admission

If admitted to hospital, the length of stay will depend upon treatment goals and the response to treatment. It may range from several weeks to several months.

If you are concerned that your child or youth is struggling with an eating disorder, please talk with your primary care provider about options for treatment and referral. You will need a referral from your community eating disorder program, or a child and youth mental health team, to take part in the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorder Program.

Assessment & treatment

We provide a complete range of services for children and youth struggling with eating disorders. Our program combines medical, psychiatric, nutritional, psychosocial and other aspects of care. Family involvement is critical to recovery and built into all of our programs.

Outpatient treatment

Our outpatient services include:

  • Medical appointments
  • Family-based therapy appointments
  • Dietetic appointments to discuss food and nutrition

The appointments may be in-person or done virtually. Please see the Outpatient Pre-Care Information Package (PDF) for more information.

Inpatient treatment

When your child or youth is referred to our inpatient services, they stay on the eating disorders unit at BC Children's Hospital to begin treatment. Our team works with you to create a care plan. After treatment at the hospital, we may continue to provide follow-up care, or refer your child back to your local care provider.

Please see the Inpatient Pre-Care Information Package (PDF) for more information.

The Looking Glass Residence is a homelike setting with 24 hour care. The program provides:

  • Therapy
  • Meal support
  • Education
  • Psychiatric care
  • Medical care

Your child or youth can challenge the power of an eating disorder in our safe and supportive setting. They can learn how to cope with daily life without using destructive behaviours.  Learn more at Looking Glass BC.

If you are 19 years and over and admitted into publicly-funded beds at Looking Glass Residence, you will need to pay a daily fee of $45. If you receive income assistance or disability, this fee is paid for by your coverage. The fee is based on standards for residential treatment programs in British Columbia.

Please see the resident handbook (PDF) and program schedule (PDF) for more information, and to help prepare for admission.

Services we offer

We provide an initial assessment of a child or youth. Our assessment team includes a medical physician, a psychiatrist and/or psychologist, and a nurse. Those admitted to our programs will have ongoing assessment that may include:


  • occupational therapy
  • dietetics (food studies)
  • social work
  • special education

Our team will provide a diagnosis after the initial assessment.‎


‎After the assessment, we may:


  1. Offer to consult with you and your community care provider about the best treatment options in your community for you or your child 
  2. Provide treatment based on the diagnosis and level of severity. Treatment may include:
    • medical stabilization
    • individual, family or group therapy
    • nutrition therapy
    • meal support

As a family member, you play a critical role in your loved one's treatment and their transition back home. We work with families and their community providers to develop a care plan so that they can best support their loved one at home.‎


‎Our team members are available to consult with local care providers to better meet the needs of children and youth struggling with eating disorders in their community.

Your Visit
  • Visiting opportunities. BC Children's Hospital’s inpatient mental health services are family-centred services. You and your family are encouraged to visit your child and participate in all aspects of the program including: family teaching sessions, multi-family groups and outings with the patients. Visiting times can be discussed with your treatment team so that therapy can be maximized.

  • Evening and weekend passes. Evening and weekend passes are part of the assessment process and allow your child and your family the opportunity to practice the skills you have learned. These passes will be discussed and decided upon by your child’s care team. Passes will be discussed at your child’s admission and before weekends.

The Looking Glass Residence's program provides a combination of therapy, meal support and education, and psychiatric, medical care in a 24/7 homelike residential environment.

We provide a safe and supportive environment in which to challenge the power of an eating disorder, and learn how to resist using destructive behaviours to cope with daily life. Learn more at Looking Glass BC.

Please note that consistent with provincial standards for residential treatment programs in British Columbia, clients 19 years and over admitted into publicly-funded beds at Looking Glass Residence are required to pay a daily fee of $45. For those receiving income assistance or disability, this per diem fee is paid for by your coverage.

Please see the resident handbook and program schedule for more information, and to help prepare for admission.

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