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Bell Let’s Talk gift will help families with children suffering from eating disorders

OTTAWA, (Ontario) – Oct. 24, 2012 — The CHEO Foundation announced today that Bell has made a major donation that will fund a research project to study the effectiveness of an online resource for parents of youth with eating disorders. The $45,000 gift is part of the Bell’s Let’s Talk Community Fund and will help parents by educating them on how to help their child while they wait to access treatment.

The funds will be used for a multi-site trial to create and study the impact of a psychoeducational video for parents on how they can support a child who is suffering from an eating disorder. According to Wendy Spettigue, the co-principal investigator of this research based project, the goals of the video are to help parents understand: that eating disorders are severe mental illnesses with serious medical consequences; that eating disorders are no one’s fault; that the child with an eating disorder is suffering tremendously; that the illness is controlling the child; and that parents can be the key to their child’s recovery.

“We hope this video will lift blame from parents and empower them to get a head start on their child’s treatment and recovery,” said Dr. Wendy Spettigue, Psychiatric Director of the Eating Disorder Program at CHEO. “We are incredibly grateful to Bell for providing us with the opportunity to create such a video. With the huge increase in referrals and limited resources, research funds like this are invaluable to allow us to create novel ways to provide professional advice to parents desperately seeking help for children with eating disorders. Using a video format will allow us to extend our reach right across the country.”

“Bell is very pleased to continue our longstanding support of CHEO through the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund this year,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell mental health initiative. “Our donation will help the CHEO team provide a much needed resource for parents with children suffering from an eating disorder.”

The research project team includes co-leads Dr. Wendy Spettigue and Dr. Mark Norris, as well as Dr. Katherine Henderson, Paula Moore, Nicole Obeid, and Danijela Maras, all from CHEO. Additional funding for this project is provided by the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation.

The Bell mental health initiative is a multi-year charitable program that promotes mental health across Canada via the Bell Let’s Talk anti-stigma campaign and support for community care, research and workplace best practices. To learn more, please visit
This news release is available in French, upon request.
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