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Collaboration to Promote Mental Health & Healthy Eating in Children With Obesity

Date: November 9th, 2017

Many children living with obesity experience teasing, bullying and social isolation on a daily basis. In this context, promoting healthy eating and mental health in a sensitive, non-stigmatizing manner is a particularly challenging issue for nutrition and mental health professionals.

In this session, you will hear about two childhood obesity programs – the STOMP at Sick Kids and the Family Reset Program at the Bariatric Medical Institute – and their unique collaborative approaches to support children with obesity. Dietitians and social workers from each program will share how they collaborate to promote healthy eating and mental health and address weight bias and stigma. Several case studies will also be presented.

About the Presenters:

Alisa Bar-Dayan (RD, Sick Kids) completed her BASc in Food & Nutrition at Ryerson University and her dietetic internship at Sickkids Hospital. She has been practicing as a clinical dietitian at Sickkids Hospital since 2003.  Alisa has worked in various departments at the hospital and has a keen interest working with teens as well as young children who have weight challenges.  Alisa currently works in STOMP, Sickkids Team Obesity Management Program.

Melanie Gelfand (Registered Clinical Social Worker, Sick Kids) has been a Registered Clinical Social Worker for over 15 years working with adults, children, families and groups in a variety of settings, which include child welfare, community agencies, primary healthcare and hospitals. Melanie has worked within multidisciplinary settings, meeting client’s needs on diverse mental and physical health issues.  Melanie is skilled in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solutions Focused Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Motivational Interviewing.

Carley O’Kane (RD, Sick Kids) brings a unique and diverse skill set to the field of nutrition. Upon completing a Food and Nutrition Management diploma at Canadore College, she began working as a food service supervisor at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, where she first fell in love with paediatric nutrition. She then completed a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in Applied Human Nutrition and went on to complete her practical training at the Hospital for Sick Children Carley has also been a sessional lecturer at the University of Guelph.

Lauren Lejasisaks (RD, Bariatric Medical Institute) graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Trent University in 2007 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Applied Science in Nutrition and Food at Ryerson University in 2011. She acquired her certified diabetes educator (CDE) designation in 2016. Her understanding of the complexity and impact of this disease makes her keen to be part of an effort to help people manage this condition and prevent further increases in diabetes prevalence in the community.

Stacey Segal (RD, Bariatric Medical Institute) completed her BSW from Carleton University and went on to complete her Masters in Social Work at McGill University.  Additionally she has completed both tier one and tier two training of the Collaborative Problem Solving approach with Think Kids and has continued to receive training in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy approach and the Narrative approach. Stacey Segal is a registered social worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and with the Ontario Association for Social Workers. 


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