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York Hills Centre for Children, Youth and Families, and Southlake are working together to expand Outpatient Adolescent Eating Disorder Services in the community

Wednesday February 21, 2024

  • Mental Health

The two organizations are continuing to accept referrals for these services

York Hills Centre for Children, Youth and Families (York Hills) and Southlake Regional Health Centre (Southlake) are pleased to highlight that they have been working collaboratively since July 2022 to expand community-based Outpatient Adolescent Eating Disorder Services in order to meet the needs of clients and families in the Central Region, bridge the step-down care gap from hospital to community, and avoid hospitalization for those clients requiring less intensive interventions.

Teams from York Hills and Southlake have been working together for the last year and a half to provide a stepped-care model of outpatient support for adolescents with eating disorders to meet the needs of each youth and family receiving services. Responding to the overwhelming demand for eating disorder services across Central Region, York Hills has worked diligently since summer 2022 to offer outpatient group services to families on Southlake’s waitlist, continuing to provide outpatient therapy as adolescents and their families move from in-hospital or day treatment programming at Southlake to be supported in the community. This partnership will ensure that care remains consistent while moving patients smoothly from more-intensive to less-intensive levels of service, as well as offering services earlier on in recovery to avoid hospital-based care.

In the community, York Hills continues to support Ontario Health’s Quality Standards for the treatment of eating disorders by offering Family Based Treatment (FBT) to support adolescents and their families in recovery, and where indicated, offering individual sessions to address additional mental health concerns for the adolescent. Family sessions can include parents, caregivers, and siblings, offering adolescents the best opportunity for a fulsome recovery. The program also provides community capacity building through education sessions offered throughout the year.

“York Hills is proud to be working together and in partnership with Southlake Regional Health Centre to expand Eating Disorders services across York Region. Eating disorders have skyrocketed in prevalence since the pandemic. Hospitals and other specialized services are in crisis as they are inundated with referrals and waitlists that are far beyond manageable. The launch of this stepped-care model will allow us to link people sooner to the right level of support, and avoid under or over treating them. Our program will also help fill gaps within the sector by providing community-based care to those that can benefit, with a goal of lowering admissions to more intensive hospital programs and reducing the burden hospitals have been under,” said Dean Rokos, CEO at York Hills.

“We are thrilled to work with York Hills to expand services for youth who are struggling with an eating disorder in the communities we serve,” said Stella Johnson, Director, Emergency and Mental Health Programs at Southlake. “Our commitment to the well-being of youth and adolescents extends beyond our hospital walls and through this partnership, young community members and their families can access the level of care they need, when they need it. These services can be a lifeline, fostering hope and resilience to youth on their journey to recovery.”

Adolescents with disordered eating in the community still need support. Primary health care practitioners must be prepared to medically follow the youth throughout their duration in the program. York Hills Eating Disorder Program is for medically stable youth aged 12-17. The program accepts self-referrals through our Intake Department at 905-503-5406 or through our website at https://www.yorkhills.ca/services/intake/, as well as accepting referrals directly from Southlake’s Eating Disorder Program.