Life in Balance

Through this online art blog/gallery we can encourage, inspire and share hope with one another…We invite who you to share your “NAPS” (News, Art ,Poetry, Songs) or inspirations. Email if you would like to share inspirations. Please note we can not post advice with regards to nutrition and exercise.

School Connections

This is a space for all the schools that get involved with Riverwalk Wellness Centres! YPI interviews, school presentations, health fairs, and other involvement will be posted here! E-mail if you would like to get connected! 

Support Groups Available On-Site for Schools 

Gratitude Can Fuel School Transformation
Read the article here.

gratitude workshop

School Visits!

November 18th, 2014 – Richmond Hill High School!

April 28th, 2014 – Jean Vanier

December 2nd, 2013 – Aurora High School Visit!

sytc aurora hs
Elsa, Janice, and Michelle.
Eating Disorders of York Region held an information outreach at Aurora High School. The Riverwalk Eating Disorders and Wellness Centres shared information about teen, and adult female and male support groups, many helpful information pamphlets and uplifting knowledge and support surrounding eating disorders and the services they provide at the Wellness Centres. Michelle, Janice and Elsa were all sporting ‘show your true colours’ in support of the campaign of the same name that aims to support acceptance and understanding of all people and spreading an anti-bullying message.

EDOYR Revisits Vaughan Secondary School!

J and M
Janice and Michelle at Vaughan Secondary School – it’s great Michelle has joined the team!

EDOYR visits Vaughan Secondary School

Dear faculty, staff and students of Vaughan Secondary School;
It was a pleasure to meet with students from Vaughan Secondary School. Thank you for your generous donation; your support is greatly appreciated!
With the support of the community, we are able to continue providing much needed services to individuals and families affected by eating disorders. Your donation, for instance, will help to ensure the “On the Road to Recovery” Support Group will be offered,this month.

 We welcome  support from schools, families, individuals, and organizations who recognize the need for our services and want to provide this support in  their community.
Eating Disorders of York Region was created by the community for the community.

Thank you again for your support!

EDOYR visits Holy Trinity CHS! February 13, 2013

Ways to show support and raise awareness!

Marco, a grade 11 student at Holy Trinity CHS in Richmond Hill, poses with Janice, Executive Director of Eating Disorders of York Region (EDOYR).

Marco and his group chose EDOYR as their charity for the (YPI) Youth and Philanthropy Initiative project, in Grade 10.  Continuing to provide support, Marco proposed EDOYR as one of the non-profit agencies that would benefit from “School Sharing Day” at Holy Trinity. Thank you Marco and the students and staff at Holy Trinity for your community support! Read the follow-up post here!

EDOYR at H.G. Bernard Public School June 14, 2012

Grade eight students at H.G. Bernard Public School in Richmond Hill sport their “Wings of Hope/EDOYR” bracelets.
Some students at H.G. Bernard Public School take part in the “Together, We Are Better” club at school. The club encourages inclusivity!
Such a stunning mural put together by “Together, We Are Better.”
Members of the “Together, We Are Better” club raise their hands and “Wings of Hope/EDOYR” bracelets in front of their school sign. Go Bruins Go.
Showing their school spirit and encouraging self-acceptance, self-awareness and self-confidence, students at H.G. Bernard Public School in Richmond Hill raise their “Wings of Hope” in unison.
Leviana (Events and Communications Coordinator) took a walk around H.G. Bernard Public School with the members of “Together, We Are Better” club and found these awesome murals hanging on the wall. Integrity. Citizenship. Fairness. Courage.
Loyalty. Honesty. Kindness.
Respect. Self-discipline. Responsibility.
How stunning is this? If you look closely, you’ll see that this Canadian flag is actually a mosaic of student portraits.
This here is another mosaic of student portraits. What an awesome idea!
What is your school doing to raise awareness?

EDOYR at Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School in Markham for their Wellness Week Fair! May 16, 2012

We had the pleasure of attending Markham’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School‘s Wellness Week Fair on Wed. May 16. Check out photos from the event below:

Michelle, placement student, working the EDOYR booth at Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School’s Wellness Week Fair!
Natalia, Administrative Assistant, working the EDOYR booth at Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School’s Wellness Week Fair!
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) was also at Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School’s Wellness Week Fair! They were giving out these cool brain-shaped stress balls!Remember the CMHA rep we met at St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School earlier this May? He was at this fair, too.
These are some of the brochures students, guidance counselors, teachers and the like had access to!
The information brochures we provide are filled with information from the National Eating Disorders Information Centre (NEDIC).
Our motto!
Thanks Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School for having us on Wed. May 16 during your Wellness Week.
Michelle (left, placement student) and Leviana (right, Events and Communications Coordinator) are sitting at the EDOYR booth giving out brochures, answering questions and encouraging students to get involved in their community.
The halls of Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School are buzzing with student activity!
More brochures!

 Show Your True Colours does Mental Health Week May 9, 2012

We at EDOYR have been busy. It’s day three of Mental Health Week and we’ve got a great deal to show for it (literally…see the photos below). On Wednesday May 9, we went to St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School (CHS) in Richmond Hill to take part in their Mental Health Fair. We met with students, teachers, guidance counselors and representatives from other organizations in an attempt to raise mental health awareness.

While we were at the local high school, we also spread information about our Show Your True Colours campaign. Tons of students and teachers expressed their interest and support. We cannot thank you enough. Check out our Twitter and Facebook pages for more photos of the day’s events.

This grade twelve student at St. Theresa of Lisieux CHS in Richmond Hill poses beside our EDOYR booth at the school’s Mental Health Fair, organized by the Stomping Out Stigma (SOS) club on campus.
Two St. Theresa teachers show their support for Stomping Out Stigma (SOS).
Look at those amazing shirts! EDOYR had a ton of fun at St. Theresa’s SOS club’s Mental Health Fair.
EDOYR was giving out our gear at St. Theresa! Buttons and bracelets for everyone.
Students, teachers, guidance counselors and the like were stopping by our booth to ask questions about eating disorders and how to get involved with EDOYR. If you’re interested in getting involved, e-mail We’re ALWAYS looking for new helpers.
A lot of students weren’t aware that men could have eating disorders, too. Well, they can! For more information,visit our website.
Three EDOYR reps are wearing their Stomping Out Stigma (SOS) bracelets to support the St. Theresa club!
We loved this banner so much that we had to take a photo. “Live the life you have imagined.” So beautiful!
Look at this St. Theresa student showing HER true colours. Notice her green pin? You can show your true colours by taking a photo of yourself and sending it to for a chance to see your face on our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blog! Please e-mail us asking for a Photo Consent Form, as well.
This grade twelve student at St. Theresa of Lisieux is also showing her true colours. Thank you for your support!
Ashley Nicholls from the Women’s Support Network of York Region was at St. Theresa for their Mental Health fair, too. See her here with her Show Your True Colours button. Thank you for the support!
This is Stephen Liu from the Canadian Mental Health Association. He’s sporting his Show Your True Colours button, too.
Meaghan Bluer is from Pathways to Affordable Housing in Toronto. She has her Show Your True Colours button on!
What a lovely thank-you card from St. Theresa’s Stomping Out Stigma (SOS) club.
Thanks again for having us, SOS at St. Theresa!


Myth busting at St. Theresa of Lisieux CHS in Richmond Hill May 7, 2012

Every day we consume so much information, whether it is from the Internet, television, magazines or simple conversation. After acquiring knowledge, regardless of whether it is true or false, we are left to determine what to believe and what to further investigate.

Photo by: Longzero

Like in the popular Discovery Channel show MythBusters, Eating Disorders of York Region is going to different high schools to do just that: Demystify common misconceptions about the highly stigmatized disorders. On Thurs. April 26 and Fri. April 27, EDOYR visited St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School in Richmond Hill to discuss common myths, prevention and the support available for individuals affected by eating disorders as well as their families. Three steps in demystifying common misconceptions about eating disorders include becoming aware of any biased and inaccurate information that may have been consumed through conversation, media and the like, challenging and analyzing that very content and affirming for ourselves our own feelings. Ultimately, engaging our true sense of self to debunk inaccurate messages. I graduated from STL in the summer of 2008. Though my time at the school was filled with memories of friends and fun, I also struggled with understanding beauty. Unfortunately, I chose to believe that I wasn’t pretty because of my weight. Every summer, I would try to slim down so I would feel more confident and strong. Each time I lost a few pounds and would thus fit into my smaller clothes, I would hear complements like, “Wow, you look great! How much weight have you lost?” I would strive to look even better the next day and the day after that, whether that meant doing an extra thirty crunches before bed or eating 300-less-calories. Those comments were addicting. So addicting that I was no longer attempting a healthy lifestyle for myself. Instead, I was cutting back calories (a dangerous action at an age where numerous physical changes were taking place inside my body) and working out so other people would notice my aesthetic differences. Ultimately, I wanted to fit in. At the end of my high school career, the problem wasn’t that I was unappreciated by others. In fact, the problem was that I was unappreciated by myself. I had devoted so much time to changing myself to please others that I had forgotten what it felt like to live, breathe, walk, talk and act in my own skin. I forgot that being me wasn’t about what people thought about who I was or who I should try to be. I had started to believe that the only part of me that mattered was how I looked in my “skinny” jeans, because I had based what it meant to be myself on the appreciation I received and eventually sought from others. Being at STL during the last week of April was an opportunity to help others who may have been struggling with similar issues. Though I didn’t suffer from an eating disorder, it was hard for me to ask for guidance about my misconceptions when I was in high school, as it often is difficult to ask for help in many instances. The first step for me was getting to know who I was. My goal, instead of appreciation from others, became learning how to guide myself, even though I had the support of guidance counselors, teachers, parents and friends. Once I understood how to encourage, motivate, guide and support myself, I then started understanding that something about how I perceived the girl I was did not seem right. EDOYR has recently created an Early Intervention Centre with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. It aims to disrupt an eating disorder as soon as possible. If you or someone you know may be struggling from misconceptions of body image, disordered eating or an eating disorder, medical attention may be necessary. Feel free to contact if you have any questions and/or visit our website. By: Leviana Coccia Events and Communications Coordinator at EDOYR Alumna of St. Theresa of Lisieux


Show Your True Colours! By Leviana Coccia April 23, 2012

Leviana showing her True Colours!

On Thurs. April 19, Eating Disorders of York Region (EDOYR), a grassroots, registered non-profit organization founded by families who have been impacted by the devastation and death eating disorders can cause, visited Sutton District High School (SDHS). I am a reporter, affiliated with EDOYR, who was lucky enough to attend and write this article to share the experience. The article will also be submitted to The Georgina Advocate. EDOYR was invited to SDHS’ semi-annual “Girls Night In,” an event filled with fun and an opportunity to learn ways to better help and understand the community, starting with oneself, through various presentations and workshops provided by community based non-profit agencies. EDOYR was invited to present some information about their Early Intervention Centre and “need to know” points about eating disorders. Janice Morgante, Executive Director of EDOYR, opened the presentation with a short video, “Body Image and Self Esteem,” by Teen Truth Live, a professional organization that produces multimedia by and for students. This video takes an inside look at dieting myths, eating disorders, steroid abuse and excessive exercising through the eyes of those whose lives were put at risk. After the video, the floor was opened for discussion, which included some of the following. Our society’s preoccupation with body image is reflected in the fact that 70 per cent of women and 35 per cent of men are dieting, says the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). Having an eating disorder is much more than just being on a diet. According to Something-Fishy, a website dedicated to providing support, an eating disorder is an illness that permeates all aspects of each sufferer’s life, is caused by a variety of emotional factors and influences and has profound effects on the people suffering and their loved ones. Eating disorders don’t always show in a person’s body shape or size. However, they may still cause irreversible harm. Eating disorders are life threatening and affect physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well being and can impact both genders. The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) says that though the most common age of onset is between 14 and 25 years, eating disorders occur in a wide age range. Unlike the myths sometimes portrayed in the media, an eating disorder is not about vanity. An eating disorder is often the result of a trauma, something we all will experience at some point in our lives. Like alcoholism and drug addiction, eating disorders are a coping mechanism. Self-awareness and self-care are the first steps to help avoid turning to an unhealthy coping strategy. When someone experiences trauma and requires assistance, they are encouraged to speak to someone they trust and ask for help. EDOYR provides help through a telephone referral line for people who are and/or have been impacted by eating disorders. The organization also provides workshops and weekly support groups facilitated by psychotherapists specializing in eating disorders. Workshops, like a session entitled “Stages of Change,” are free and include help for family and friends supporting a loved one. A variety of support groups are scheduled at various locations and are provided for a nominal fee. For example, a six-week group would cost $60. Brochures about the organization and topics such as, males and eating disorders, how family and friends can be supportive, dieting myths and facts and binge eating were distributed and left for SDHS students who were unable to attend.

At the end of the presentation, Morgante played a video, entitled “Eva Cassidy’s ‘Your True Colours,’” encouraging the audience to honour life and let their inner colours show. You can find the video on YouTube. Buttons with the same message have been passed out to students across York Region and were distributed to those in attendance at the “Girls Night In” event at SDHS. Now, various schools in the community have been linked through this initiative.

From left to right: Michelle De Faria (placement student), Leviana Coccia (Events and Communications Coordinator) and Janice Morgante (Executive Director) showing off their true colours as well as their special buttons!

EDOYR encourages everyone to support the true colours campaign. Consider taking photos wearing the button (individual self-shots like mine and group pictures alike) and posting them in schools and areas throughout the community. Send your photos to They could end up on EDOYR’s blog, Facebook and YouTube. Eventually, the organization will put all of the photos together to produce their very own multimedia piece emphasizing the importance of being true and showing one’s true colours! Visit for articles and other resources, support group information and links. Here, you’ll also be able to view a two-part Rogers TV documentary. The third part in the series is about the new Early Intervention Centre. It will be posted shortly. Also online is more information about EDOYR’s friend-raising campaign called, “Celebrate Life: A Circle of Friends.” It encourages members of the community to pay forward their support to encourage others to join in the fight against eating disorders. For more information or to register for a workshop or support group, call 1-888-407-8813 or e-mail




In partnership with many schools, boards and organizations around the province, COPA has been providing whole-school programming in preschools, elementary schools, at intermediate level and secondary in Ontario since 1995 to well over 100,000 students. This means that tens of thousands of students have encountered at least two trained individuals who are committed to creating a positive and liberating space for them to learn, practice, explore, reflect and develop core life skills that will last a lifetime. Thousands of parents and school staff have participated in workshops during which they learn about the importance of fostering children’s capacity, building problem-solving skills, listening fully and with compassion, while being there for children in difficulty.



Strategies to foster safe, strong and free schools and communities


Children’s Mental Health Ontario’s Youth Action Committee presents:

the SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT! project
 The YAC wants to find out how youth think schools can create a more supportive environment for students experiencing mental health and addictions issues. (From To take part in SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT! project, fill out the youth survey here.

One thought on “School Connections

  1. Pingback: School Visit Reflection | Life in Balance

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