New youth eating disorders day treatment program and clinic space at PRHC named in recognition of Scotiabank’s $250,000 pledge

Representatives of donor, Scotiabank, at the dedication of a hospital treatment space

Photo, from left to right: Sunny Sekhon, Scotiabank Senior Manager, Regional Marketing, Nolan Frazer, Scotiabank Small Business Development Manager, Larry Toupin, Scotiabank Portage Place Branch Manager, Charlyne MacDonald, Scotiabank Summit Plaza Branch Manager, Lesly Tayles, Scotiabank Senior Vice President, Chris Skinner, Scotiabank District Vice President, Lesley Heighway, PRHC Foundation President & CEO, and Michelle Power, Scotiabank Regional Director, Wealth Partnerships.

We’re so pleased to announce that the new Youth Eating Disorders Day Treatment Program area at PRHC has been unveiled and dedicated to Scotiabank!

Scotiabank regional leaders were at the hospital Thursday, March 9 for the dedication event celebrating the Bank’s $250,000 pledge to fund the essential treatment area for the program, which launched in December in response to devastating increases in demand. It will help fill the treatment gap between those who can be successfully treated in an out-patient setting, and those who need more supervised, acute treatment and support to avoid admission to hospital or a long-term residential program. It’s designed to support youth 12-25 years old who need lifesaving care to normalize their eating and restore weight.

The purpose-built unit and therapy space includes a kitchen and dining area made to feel more like a home than a facility. It helps address participant anxiety and stress around the preparation and consumption of meals and snacks, and encourages a successful transition post-program. Participants attend the clinic eight hours a day, five days a week for 12 weeks. They receive group and one-on-one psychological and nutritional counselling while attending school in a supported classroom and return home daily.

Chris Skinner, District Vice President, Ontario Central East at Scotiabank, says that the Bank has a long history and strong culture of investing in the communities where they operate, and they’re pleased to support such an important area of care in the Peterborough region.

“Supporting the Youth Eating Disorders Day Treatment Program at PRHC is a vital opportunity to contribute to the mental and physical health of young people in this area now, so that they may have a better chance at a healthy future,” says Skinner.

Jennifer Cox, Director of Mental Health & Addictions Services at PRHC says that the need for youth eating disorders treatment has grown significantly in recent years.

“Eating disorders are known to thrive in isolation, something young people have had an abundance of during the pandemic,” says Cox. “When you combine changes in routine, the anxiety many of us are feeling about the future, and increased media attention on weight and our bodies, the result is a perfect storm for increasing susceptibility in developing life-threatening eating disorders.”

Lesley Heighway, President & CEO at PRHC Foundation, said the hospital and Foundation are grateful to receive this generous funding, which has been having a tremendous impact on young people in our region since the program opened.

“Even before the pandemic, referrals for PRHC’s outpatient program were on the rise. The impact of that pre-existing surge combined with pandemic-exacerbated mental health challenges is now being felt across the health system,” says Heighway. “PRHC’s doctors, nurses and staff want to give their patients and participants the best care possible, but we needed to invest in the safe, functional, and healing spaces that support that lifesaving and life-changing care. On behalf of everyone at PRHC and the many youth who rely on the Health Centre for eating disorders treatment, thank you to Scotiabank for sharing that vision and helping to ensure young people will receive the specialized, compassionate care they need and deserve.”

Download the media release here.