We chatted with co-founders and mother and daughter team, Sonia Seguin M.A, RYT and Dr. Karen Trollope M.D, PhD, CCFP at Body Brave about how they are supporting individuals affected by body image issues, disordered eating, and eating disorders.
Body Brave is a non-for-profit that started about a year and a half ago and is based in the Hamilton, Ontario area. Co-founder Sonia suffered from an eating disorder for over seven years and over the course of those seven years, the two of them realized there was a lack of community support organizations for people and families dealing with the challenges that come with body image issues, disordered eating and eating disorders.
They function in two areas:
First, Body Brave offers individual counseling, support groups and a number of workshops.
They do not exist as a treatment centre but as a space to provide support and guidance for these individuals. Most services are free or covered by OHIP.
Second, Body Brave is to educate and raise awareness in the community
In Hamilton, Body Brave has made great links with their local University. Currently, they are speaking to classes at McMaster University on eating disorders, working with groups on campus and the McMaster student wellness centre.
They are hoping to expand to other post-secondary institutions through their grand vision.
The third aspect Body Brave aspires to create is an e-platform.
Body Brave hopes to create an e-platform where health professionals can access online resources and additional training to support they work they do. This e-platform would also include materials to support those who are themselves or know someone who is suffering from body image issues and/or eating disorders. They plan to partner with other organizations and create concrete partnerships across Ontario so that Ontarians including Ontario post-secondary students are far better supported.
Body image and eating disorders are prevalent among post-secondary students.
It is a time of transition and therefore young men and women are at a higher risk of suffering through dietary patterns but there is not always enough support. Body Brave can help to fill that gap.
For more information on Body Brave, visit https://www.livingbodybrave.com/