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 Eating Disorders & 
Stepped Care 

What is Stepped Care?

Stepped care is an evidence-based, staged system involving a series of interventions, from the least to the most intensive, that can be matched to a person’s needs. This model of care allows people to 'step up' or 'step down' the intensity of treatment based on people’s needs and preferences.

The model is founded on the following principles:

  • People should not have to wait for a basic level of services 

  • Different people require different levels of care 

  • Treatment interventions should be matched to an individual's unique needs

A general guideline in eating disorder treatment is that the right level of care for a person is the one at which they can stop the eating disorder behaviors for a sustainable period of time. Requiring more support is not negative, it simply means that is the stage where one is at in their recovery.

Why Stepped Care?

The potential long-term impact of a stepped care model for eating disorder treatment includes increasing the capacity for treating eating disorders in Canada, bridging gaps in current care services, and reducing the economic burden of eating disorder management on the healthcare system. 

The stepped care journey below shows an overview of typical care pathways for eating disorder recovery in Ontario. To learn about stepped care service providers available to residents of Ontario, Canada - scroll down to 'Ontario Service Providers by Step'. 

Stepped Care Model (1).png

*Many treatment services are currently virtual due to COVID-19

Ontario Service Providers by Step

This information was collected via NEDIC’s Find a Provider Tool, for the purpose of separating supports into stepped care sections. This list is not exhaustive and may be subject to change. Please note that many of the hospital-based programs listed below only serve residents of a specific region of Ontario (their "catchment areas"). NEDIC provides information, resources, referrals, and in-the-moment support to Canadians affected by eating disorders. If you’d like to talk through some of these care options, you can connect with a trained support worker through their helpline and instant chat service.


Helpline: 1-866-NEDIC-20 (416-340-4156 in Toronto)
Instant Chat:

Monday to Thursday, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm EST

Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm EST

Saturday & Sunday, 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST (Instant Chat only)


 Intensive Inpatient  Programming 

 Residential Programming 
*limited OHIP coverage

 Day Hospitalization 

 Hospital-Based Intensive Outpatient Programming 


 Hospital-Based Outpatient Programming 


 Community-Based Individual Programming 


 Community-Based Group Programming 
*including Peer Support

 Self-Guided Support 

Information and Resources


Note: Providers noted with an (~) consider themselves ‘Inclusive and affirmative of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people’ and ‘Inclusive and affirmative of trans*, Two-Spirit and non-binary people’ within NEDIC’s Find A Provider Tool filters.

Additional Resources

A Guide to Discussing Your Concern with a Primary Care Provider


In order to feel more prepared, you can save or print these guides to fill out and take to your primary care provider when discussing your concerns. 


Pathways to Care by Black Health Alliance

Pathways to Care is project, created by Black Health Alliance, aimed at removing barriers and improving access to mental health and addictions services for Black children, youth and their families in 6 cities across Ontario. You can explore mental health resources for Black folks using their Interactive Map and ConnectMe tools.

Resources for all Canadians from the National Eating Disorders Information Center (NEDIC)

Service Providers
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