Nova Scotia health budget clawback hits eating disorder group, loses nearly a quarter of its funding

A group that provides peer support for Nova Scotians with eating disorders says its services are at risk after a clawback in provincial funding.

Eating Disorders Nova Scotia has a three-year annual grant of $49,000 from the Department of Health. In its recent budget, the province cut more than $11,000 of that money, at least for the upcoming year.

"This news really came out of the blue for us," said Shaleen Jones, who coordinates Eating Disorders Nova Scotia's peer support groups.

Groups run in 12-week sessions, connecting people with eating disorders throughout their recovery process.

"Since we've been funded we've supported over 50 people through our peer support group," Jones said.

With a 23 per cent cut in provincial funding, Jones told CBC her group will have look at cutting back those peer support groups.

Eating Disorders Nova Scotia is one of a number of community groups facing a cutback this year.

In an interview with CBC News, Health Minister Leo Glavine described the budget as a difficult one.

"We also need to look at the other side," Glavine said. "We've added a million dollars to mental health."

That money, he said, will help implement suggestions made in a recent comprehensive report of adolescent mental health.

He said the Department of Health is open to discussing the cuts to various groups.

"If an organization wants to meet with me as minister I am more than prepared to do that," Glavine said.

Jones said she welcomes that. However, Eating Disorders Nova Scotia has requested two meetings with the Department of Health and both were declined.