At a time when mental health issues are increasingly on the radar of Canadians, eating disorders remain misunderstood. For David Wedge, a partner at Parlee McLaws, the silence and stigma surrounding eating disorders has personal significance. His wife has battled anorexia for more than two decades and he understands first-hand how eating disorders impact the patient and those who love them: “Early on in our relationship, I saw how much of her life was lost to her eating disorder and how much she missed out on.”

It was this understanding that prompted him to volunteer with the Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta  a non-profit organization and registered charity dedicated to providing hope and support to those affected by eating disorders. David, who serves as board vice-president, recently shared his family’s story with Alberta Primetime  as part of an effort to increase awareness about eating disorders. In particular, he hopes that the secrecy that often goes along with eating disorders will begin to fade and that people will have a better understanding of what it means for the patient and their loved ones.

“There is so much shame and misunderstanding surrounding eating disorders,” he explains. “One of the biggest objectives of the organization is to help people understand what eating disorders are and to connect them with the help that is available. It can be a very tough struggle, but there is hope.”