Peer support offers a lifeline for those struggling with eating disorders

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Aug 15, 2021 – Jane Seyd/North Shore News

Bowinn Ma remembers vividly the shame and silence that came with a secret eating disorder.

The stigma was so great that until two years ago, Ma – the MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale – hadn’t told anybody, including those she’s closest to, she’d had an eating disorder as a young adult.

“It’s an illness that really lives in silence,” she said.

Even when Ma was first tapped by local volunteers on the North Shore to help recognize one of the first eating disorder awareness weeks, “I didn’t talk about my experiences,” said Ma. “I was terrified of becoming known as that MLA with an eating disorder.”

Since she went public in 2019, Ma said she’s had many people contact her to confide their own struggles.

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