Shaleen Jones

Shaleen Jones

2022 Invisible Champion Award - Nova Scotia/Halifax

Eating Disorders Nova Scotia

Nominator Comments:

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shaleen has worked tirelessly to address the additional need for support for those impacted by eating disorders. Her goal is to ensure that no one faces an eating disorder alone. By adapting and growing her team, she’s been able to ensure that care is accessible regardless of income, location, insurance coverage, or background. Recently she worked with researchers at MSVU to develop the “Safe, Seen, Supported” project, which shed light on eating disorder experiences in communities of sexual and gender diversity. She then created a Two-Spirit, Trans, and Non-binary peer support group to offer traditionally marginalized groups a safe space to support their recovery.

Shaleen believes that everyone deserves access to the resources they need for recovery. She works to understand and remove barriers to accessing care. It’s not enough to provide services as they’ve always been – she drills down to really understand the needs of the community and how to make their path easier.

Shaleen has diligently worked to build a team of professionals that reflects the gender and racial diversity of the community they serve, offering every Nova Scotian inclusive and barrier-free access to high quality care. When asked about Eating Disorders Nova Scotia’s budget, Shaleen would tell you that she operates on “hopes and dreams.” It is hard to fathom how she can coordinate dozens of workshops per year, multiple programs, and a growing team of Mentors and staff on such a tight budget, but somehow, she makes it work. Her dedication to serving those with eating disorders motivates her to work tirelessly secure funding for our highly demanded programs. Every dollar Shaleen brings into the organization through fundraisers, grants, donations, and partnerships goes directly back to the community. Since the pandemic she expanded all our core programs, started four new programs, trained 30 more Peer Mentors, found funding to expand the staff team, created new partnerships and so more – all to help the greatest number of people on their road to recovery from an eating disorder.

Shaleen is a prime example of a person who leads with values, experience, and humility. As an organization founded by those with lived experience, Eating Disorders Nova Scotia has benefitted greatly from her dedication to our mission and mandate. Beyond just our organization, however, Shaleen has had an immeasurable impact on the community at large. She seeks to include, support, and advocate for those who traditionally do not have a voice in our healthcare system. Her leadership has allowed Eating Disorders Nova Scotia to rise to the challenge and become a national leader in eating disorder care at the non-profit level. Sharleen’s community leadership skills were evident long before the pandemic, but her response to the overwhelming increase in demand for eating disorder services since the onset of the COVID-19 was exceptional. She has worked around the clock to secure funding, establish partnerships, and expand services so that her community can have access to timely, life-saving support have never known someone to be as dedicated, hardworking, and motivated as Shaleen Jones, and sincerely hope to see her recognized for the significant role she plays in our community.

Have you been helped by a human service champion? We would love to hear about it.

Submit your story