Hand in Hand Peer Support
Hand in Hand offers caring, personalized, and confidential support to anyone aged 16 or older who wants to recover from an eating disorder. The program pairs each participant with a well-trained Looking Glass volunteer whose background and interests suggest they'll be a good match. After an initial meeting to get to know one another, the pair will meet for regular (usually weekly) 60-90 minute conversations in person or by video call*.
While it isn't therapy per se, Hand in Hand helps eating disorder sufferers move toward recovery. This looks different for every individual based on the circumstances of their illness, where they are in their recovery, and what other treatment or support they are receiving. The idea is to support individuals wherever they are in their unique recovery journey and help them discover what they are capable of achieving, as they are ready. Many Hand in Hand volunteers have first hand experience with an eating disorder, so they know that recovery is possible and understand that an individual's struggle can have many dimensions. Our focus is on the whole individual, not just the eating disorder.
Regular, confidential, empathetic encouragement and support from a caring person who understands what it is to suffer from an eating disorder (and what it might take to get to the other side) can be a crucial missing piece for those who are reaching out for help for the first time, who are on waitlists for treatment, who are receiving treatment but need additional support, and/or are well into their recovery but need help with relapse management.
Hand in Hand support is provided at no charge and can continue for as many weeks or months as is helpful. Program oversight and mentorship is provided by the Eating Disorder therapist on-staff at the Looking Glass Foundation.
Here's how just a few Hand in Hand participants describe their experience:
"Hand in Hand support is a kind of lifeline - someone who can meet me exactly where I am in my recovery, who believes in me, and who really listens. It keeps me from feeling like I'm falling through the cracks. It makes me feel like a person again, and that I matter."
"Just knowing she was there for me and wasn't judging me helped me out of a dark place."
"Hand in Hand has been the missing piece of my recovery journey. Before it, I felt totally alone with the secret of my eating disorder."
*Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, all Hand in Hand meetings will take place virtually until Looking Glass deems it safe to return to in-person based on guidance from the provincial government.