About Waterstone Foundation
WaterStone Foundation is a registered Canadian charity raising money to support our vision: to create healthy lives free from eating disorders.
Our goal is to provide much needed funding to support the full continuum of eating disorders from prevention to treatment and support post treatment through investment in research, hospital programs and financial assistance for patients needing urgent care who fall through the cracks in our public healthcare system.
To be trailblazers on the path to ending eating disorders; investing where the need is greatest and the outcomes most profound.
Eating disorders are the leading cause of death for 17 to 24-year- old women in North America. There is no known single cause, nor cure. The facts behind it are widely misunderstood, creating a stigma that shadows everything to do with the disease. It is an illness that not only targets the individual, but also the destruction of the family unit. Early intervention and targeted treatment is, so far, the best defense we have against its long-term effects. Yet the public healthcare system drastically under-funds eating disorders creating insufficient capacity that perpetuates the crisis.
WaterStone will be Canada’s leading funder of life-altering programs that cover the continuum of eating disorders.
Dismayed by their experiences with the shortage of treatment space in the public health system, two families took on the challenge to build a world-class center dedicated to treating eating disorders. WaterStone Clinic was born in 2012 along with the WaterStone Foundation, a fundraising charity created to provide financial support for patients who couldn’t afford treatment, including WaterStone’s programs. The Clinic thrived with great interest and early success. To accelerate the impact WaterStone could have with eating disorder patients, in 2015, the Clinic was acquired by the Edgewood Health Network Group. Combined with Edgewood’s history of treating mental health and addictions, the addition of WaterStone Clinic enhanced the holistic programs with innovative eating disorder treatment services.
Driven by their mission to end eating disorders, the founders retained leadership of the charity, Waterstone Foundation, and broadened its mandate. With a focus on providing funding where the need is greatest, the Foundation’s strategic priorities are:
- To provide access to care with financial support where the public system falls short.
- To increase treatment capacity across the country so that more patients can receive treatment sooner.
- De-stigmitize while increasing awareness and advocating for greater support.
- Accelerate research in prevention and cure.
WaterStone Foundation is pleased to have established relationships with three of the leading eating disorder private clinics in the country. Through formal intermediary agreements, the application, evaluation and decision process is clearly defined and all parties: applicant, clinic and Foundation can be assured that decisions are made fairly, transparently and as quickly as possible. As of March 1, 2017, WaterStone Foundation has provided financial aid to seven applicants who were in urgent need of treatment that could not be provided in a timely fashion by the public system.
In 2016, WaterStone Foundation reached out to publicly funded eating disorder programs across Ontario with a request for proposals that would lead to increased capacity and improvements in treatment. Four proposals were approved for funding:
Canadian Mental Health Association (London/Middlesex Branch) Transition House: It is often very difficult for patients to return home following treatment. Recurrence rates are high since patients are thrown back into the environment where their illness developed. The transition house can accommodate up to 4 individuals at a time for up to 3 months to help them transition back to normal life following inpatient treatment. The transition house opened in December 2016 and results so far have been extremely positive.
Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital Collaboration: Currently the Eating Disorder Program for the GTA is led by Toronto General Hospital and the Substance Abuse Program is led by Toronto Western Hospital. Despite the high likelihood of individuals having these conditions concurrently, no public program existed in Toronto to serve individuals with co-existing conditions. With funding from WaterStone, these two hospitals have worked together to develop an integrated program specifically for women with eating disorders and substance abuse problems. As of March 1, 2017, 9 individuals have enrolled in this program.
Hospital for Sick Children Transition Program: The Hospital for Sick Children has one of the most comprehensive eating disorder programs in the country. Unfortunately, the hospital is required to discharge patients from all support at 18 years of age. This is often a difficult time for young adults with an eating disorder and the transition to adult care is very challenging. With funding from WaterStone, HSC has developed a transition program that would start at age 17, working closely with the patient and their family to help with the transition to adult care and adult life. This program is expected to launch in 2017.
Southlake Regional Health Centre (Newmarket, Ontario) Multi Family Group Therapy: As part of its outpatient program, Southlake has successfully run several Multi Family Group Therapy programs over the last 10 years. Up to eight families with children or adolescents at different stages of recovery from an eating disorder are treated, requiring a one-year commitment from families on an outpatient basis. These groups have reduced the Centre’s wait list and have insured quick and efficient delivery of treatment. With WaterStone funds, the Centre can double the capacity of the Multi Family Group Therapy program by introducing another cycle of treatment. In January, 2017, 6 additional families were able to join this highly successful program thanks to WaterStone funding.