Given the mental-health issues teenagers face every day, it should come as no surprise that the pandemic has elevated their stressors to new levels.
Pandemic lockdowns have led to substantial changes for young people, such as disruptions to eating, physical activity and social patterns, which can be risk factors for developing an eating disorder.
The Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba (MDAM) wanted to know more, so they piloted a disordered-eating program last spring.
“(The program) started off with a heavy disordered-eating focus but then we really tried to incorporate body image, diet culture, stereotypes, beauty, all of those things — because there’s so many other components to it,” says Andrea Smith, facilitator of the Disordered Eating and Body Image Workshop at MDAM.
Since the program’s inception, MDAM has run three six-week women’s workshops — one in-person and two virtually. All of MDAM’s women’s programming, including the new workshop, is supported by Shoppers Drug Mart.
They’re also launching a disordered-eating workshop specifically aimed at youth aged 12-21 at the end of the month, with more dates coming up in May.