BC Children's Hospital provides assessments, recommendations, and treatment for children, youth, and young adults with eating disorders while supporting families and caregivers in our Specialized Eating Disorders Programs.
We provide a range of services for children/youth that are comprehensive, collaborative, patient and family-centred using a team-based approach designed to help youth develop healthy eating skills and equip families/caregivers with strategies to support their child at home.
The Eating Disorders team also provides provincial community supports that include team-to-team consults, education and support, shared care models and collaborative transition planning.
We assess and treat children/youth up to the age of 18 years old and still in high school who are experiencing anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other severe eating disorders. Eating disorders can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation and our program embraces cultural, racial and gender inclusivity. We strive to create a safe, ethical, trauma-informed, therapeutic environment where everyone feels cared for and valued while working to create a life worth living.
During assessment and treatment, we collaborate and work with youth, their family/care providers and community partners. Our team includes clinical counsellors, psychologists, social workers, youth and family counsellors, occupational therapists, dietitians, teachers, nurses, adolescent medicine doctors, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, researchers, and other disciplines as needed.
An in-person or virtual assessment is completed with the youth and family/caregiver to determine the appropriate treatment pathway for the youth which could include BC Children's or redirection to community services.
Treatment options at BC Children's include inpatient and outpatient treatment, a day program as well as a live-in treatment option at the Looking Glass Residence. Our programs serve individuals from BC and the Yukon who require services beyond what their community services can provide.
Inpatient treatment: Children/youth who are not able to achieve or maintain medical stability in their home community and require tertiary level, intensive medical care are admitted to BC Children's Hospital for treatment, recovery, and transition. Our team works with the youth and the family/caregiver using a holistic approach to create a care plan and treatment goals. During treatment at the hospital, we work with families to transition back home and collaborate on a plan for care after discharge.
Outpatient treatment: Time limited services of medical monitoring, family based therapy and dietitian support are provided to a child/youth under certain circumstances for example, for those awaiting admission to or having just completed inpatient treatment.
Day treatment: An intensive Dialectical Behavioural Treatment (DBT) informed outpatient program for youth who have previously engaged in treatment, and continues to experience significant eating disorder symptoms and co-occurring conditions such as self-harm. Patients attend Monday to Friday from 9:00-5:00 PM. In this program, youth and their families learn skills to work towards a life worth living. Check out our
Day Treatment Program Handbook for more information.
Looking Glass Residence: A treatment program for Male, Female, Trans, gender and culturally diverse youth and young adults 16-24 years of age. The
Looking Glass Treatment Pathway includes in person and virtual components:
- Pre-program provides support and education to increase treatment readiness
- Living-in program provides 24-hour care with intensive treatment and recovery maintenance
- Post-program is designed to support the maintenance phase of recovery in collaboration with your community team
Families/caregivers of children/youth that may be experiencing eating disorder symptoms are to consult with their GP/Pediatrician and engage with their community eating disorder program or Child & Youth Mental Health team for treatment prior to being referred to BC Children's program. If you have additional questions, connect with us at the
Kelty Centre. We have
parent peer support workers who have lived experience with mental health challenges in their families. They offer non-judgemental, compassionate peer support, and can also help walk you through these different support options.
Referrals to the BC Children's Eating Disorder program are accepted from community eating disorders programs and the Child & Youth Mental Health team. In the absence of community eating disorders programming, GPs and pediatricians can
refer to the BC Children's Hospital program for consideration for assessment.