What Educators Need to Know About Eating Disorders

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Welcome! This new & updated five-module course is an introduction to eating disorders for any K-12 educator, and replaces the former “Eating Disorders: What You Need to Know” course. 

This course should take around 30-40 minutes to complete, plus time to read any optional references and resources.

Each educator will have different levels of knowledge about eating disorders (ED); for some, the content will be a review, and for others, it will be additional or new information. The onset of eating disorders tends to be during childhood and adolescence. Children and adolescents spend a lot of time at school during these years, so it only seems appropriate to provide educators like you with more information about eating disorders.  We would never expect educators to assume the role of a therapist on this topic. Still, educators can be therapeutic in approaching children and adolescents who may show symptoms of an ED or have an eating disorder. 

A glossary attachment is available for you to reference during the course. 

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Increase knowledge and understanding of eating disorders.  
  • Learn about the potential risks and consequences of an eating disorder.  
  • Identify the biological, psychological, and social factors contributing to eating disorders.  
  • Learn essential ways to identify and engage with students who may have an eating disorder. 
  • Locate community and online resources about eating disorders.
  • Access and implement child and adolescent eating resources that provide educator specific curriculum content, and classroom strategies.

The subject matter expert for this course is Teresa, a Registered Social Worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers.  Since 2013, she has been a Family Counsellor and Program Consultant at the Calgary Eating Disorders Program.  The Eating Disorder Program (CEDP) provides specialized services to meet the needs of Albertans of all ages with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other specified feeding or eating disorders. Teresa supports children, adolescents, adults and families in the treatment and recovery from eating disorders. She also provides eating disorder consultation and education to the broader community. Teresa earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Hawai’i with a specialization in Behavioral Mental Health.  Teresa’s areas of interest include eating disorders, perinatal mental health, and mental health promotion.