Maria Hernandez
Maria Hernandez
October 30, 2019

It’s Not About Food Support Group

Photo of It’s Not About Food Support Group's social media

The “It’s Not About Food” support group is a safe place that provides support to people struggling with eating issues. The group formed because New Brunswick was the only province without at least one resource for people with eating issues.

A group of six third-year nursing students and two counselling masters students are the peer facilitators that help the members of the group have a safe place where they can feel welcome and not afraid of sharing their experience. The support group is part of the clinical practicum of the nursing students, and it is supervised by their clinical instructor.

How does the support group work?

The program consists of seven sessions with different topics. Topics could include self-care, self-esteem, assertiveness, body image, coping, mindfulness, self-appreciation, self-forgiveness, and resilience. There will be two sessions per week.

The members will be divided into different groups, and the sessions will be led by three nursing students and one counselling student.

All members of the group, including the peer facilitators, sign a confidentiality agreement. This protects and provides a safe place for people to share their experiences.

Members are not obliged to attend all the sessions. You are free to decide if you want to stay in the group or leave the program.

What is the main purpose of the support group?

Their main purpose is to help people who are having any eating issues, eating disorders, or problems with their relationship with food.

They focus on the mental well being of a person to overcome any eating issues.  

Benefits of the support group.

The group provides a safe place for all participants to share their problems without judgment. Anything that is talked about in the sessions stays in the sessions due to the confidentiality agreement. However, the confidentiality agreement can have exclusions when a person is in danger of hurting themselves or others.

You connect with other people confronting similar problems with a shared goal of overcoming them. The support group will reassure you that you are not alone. The support group may even have members that have been resilient and overcome their eating issues, and that are willing to help other people with eating issues. The peer facilitators do their best to support all members of the group.    

Misconceptions of It’s Not About Food.

The support group is not a place that focuses on establishing a certain diet. There will not be targeted meal planning.

Where and when do the sessions take place?

Due to confidentiality policies, the rooms will not be disclosed publicly. However, the sessions are held on both UNB and STU campuses. Sessions in UNB are Mondays and Thursdays and at STU Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Who can become part of the group?

To apply, you don’t have to have any diagnosed eating disorder. “It’s Not About Food,” has open doors to any person with eating issues.

You don’t have to be a UNB or STU student, as the group is open to the general public. The group has even accepted high school students who they considered were mature enough to join an older age group.

How do you apply?

You can apply by contacting the It’s Not About Food group through email (unbinaf2019@gmail.com) or phone ((506) 458-7648).

By applying you go through a screening process, which will help the peer facilitators know in which group a member will fit the best. The screening process is also confidential, between the applicant and the support group.

The screening process also allows the peer facilitators to connect applicants with other resources such as CC Jones, a social worker or counsellors out of campus if they decide they need more help. 

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