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The past week has been recognized nationally as Eating Disorders Awareness Week and local residents were shining a light on associated risks of developing an eating disorder.

"Eating disorders are serious, it's not a lifestyle and it's one of those things that you need to take very seriously," said Carla Chabot of BridgePoint Center for Disordered Eating. "With all this talk we've heard in the media lately about mental illnesses, eating disorders actually have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses."

Joining forces with BridgePoint is Moose Jaw's own Miss Canada Siera Bearchell, as she's made her stance on body shamming very clear the past few weeks, by standing up to body shammers and aiding men and women in struggles with their body image.

Right now, Bearchell is educating women and men on the subjects of body diversity and body acceptance.

"If they start to change their body perception, they're going to start down a bad path that is not so good in terms of how they treat their body (and) how they see themselves. They start to see themselves different than they really are, which starts to impact your mental health."

Chabot said some residents may not know it, but there is help available if someone has an eating disorder.

"Saskatchewan is so fortunate to have the program here and to have the governments support for such an important mental illness. There is hope and there's hope right here in Saskatchewan, anyone who has a valid Saskatchewan health card is able to come free of charge."

For more information on the BridgePoint Center For Disordered Eating click here.

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