What we do
Eating Disorders Nova Scotia (EDNS) is a community based organization that offers peer support for individuals with eating disorders, and for their families, friends and partners.
In addition we provide:
- Education for caregivers, clinicians, school staff and others
- Assistance navigating the mental health system
- Advocacy for the prevention, treatment and support of eating disorders
Programs are free of charge, and do not require a referral or diagnosis.
How we got started
In 1998 a group of women who had recovered from eating disorders created the Eating Disorders Action Group (EDAG) which offered peer support, education workshops, and advocacy for people suffering from eating disorders until it lost its core funding. In 2010, the work being done by EDAG became the Eating Disorders Project under the umbrella of the Self Help Connection, a provincial organization with the infrastructure required to build and sustain this critical work. The next few years were spent building capacity in the areas of peer support programs and education and in 2014 Eating Disorders Nova Scotia was launched.
Our team includes our Executive Director, Events and Volunteer Coordinator, facilitators who lead our peer support groups, mentors who provide one-on-one peer support, our Community of Practice Mentors, and our Board of Directors.
Michelle Hébert Boyd has worked across Canada as a social worker, journalist, and political advisor. She holds an MSW with a concentration in community development, and has been part of ambitious movements to change the way health and social services are planned and delivered. She brings 16 years of progressive leadership in both the federal and provincial civil service, working in the areas of mental health, services for persons with disabilities, public health, and social inclusion. Michelle has proven skills in public policy development, stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, and evaluation, and brings extensive leadership experience in the non-profit sector.
Having recovered from an eating disorder herself, Michelle is thrilled for this opportunity to make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of Nova Scotians impacted by eating disorders, their loved ones, and their health care providers She looks forward to helping people impacted by eating disorders to tell their stories, and to have those stories influence real change in policy and service delivery.
Michelle lives in Halifax with her partner, two children, two cats, and a puppy.
Peer Support Coordinator
Originally from Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Melanie Bower came to Halifax and secured a BSc in Health Education in 1992. She worked for a number of years in several not-for-profit organizations working with a range of issues including sexuality and family planning, disordered eating, and military family support. In 2003 she secured her Masters in Educational Psychology as well as certification as a Coach Practitioner. She is currently employed with the Canadian Forces as a Health Promotion Manager, specializing in mental health programming and suicide prevention.
Having lived with and recovered from bulimia, Melanie is passionate about supporting those living with disordered eating behaviors, specifically compulsive eating and binge eating disorder.