After the McGill Eating Disorder Program was fully defunded in 2017, students began advocating for eating disorder support services that were now lacking on campus. In 2019, the SSMU VP (Student Life) Cody Esterle ran the first SSMU Eating Disorder Awareness Week and started regularly meeting with other invested students. As a response to the lack of resources and conversations around eating disorders and disordered eating on campus, VP Esterle and Paloma Hepler, along with several other students instrumental to the creation of the program, led a plan for the SSMU to start building much-needed support services.
This effort eventually grew into a resource centre to hold peer-support programs, raise awareness, and do advocacy work – the SSMU Eating Disorder Resource and Support Centre. The Eating Disorder Advocacy position was also created under the Student Life’s Mental Health Portfolio to conduct advocacy and organize campaign work around eating disorders.
In March 2020, the SSMU Eating Disorder Resource and Support Centre officially became a fee-funded SSMU service!