Program Summary: Teens
Once a referral is received, it will be triaged and reviewed to ensure that your child meets the program criteria. If your child meets the criteria, your family will be invited to our next "Family Information Night". There, you will meet with some of the STOMP team and learn more details about the program.
After the Family Information Night, if you decide that you would like to participate in STOMP, we will then book an initial assessment in our clinic and start planning participation in the program.
You will receive support from our interdisciplinary team. Our doctors, nurses, dietitians, exercise therapist, psychologists and social workers work closely together to provide you with comprehensive care. Our coordinator works hard to ensure things run smoothly for you. Following the intake visit, we organize various tests to screen for any medical problems. These include blood work, a sleep study, ultrasound/X-ray. measurement of body composition and questionnaires on issues such as self esteem and quality of life. Some tests are done only once, however, most tests are repeated every 6 months.
The program is broken down into two parts:
Part 1: Months 1-3: We see you once a week
- Patient & Parent Group Sessions every Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. for ten weeks
- Individual Check-ins with team specialist (Nutrition, Exercise Therapy, Mental Health) during the ten weeks
- STOMP Clinic follow up at one month. Baseline blood work & tests within first month
During the group sessions, parents and teens sit in separate groups where they receive education, support and learn how to incorporate healthy food, activity and behavior changes into their lives, and for the whole family. We try to include fun activities in all the sessions.
Part 2: Months 4-24: We see you at least every two weeks for the first few months and then once a month. We also aim to connect you to your local community resources so that as you finish our program, you have ongoing support.
What happens next?
- Patient & Parent Closed Support Group Sessions: once a month on Tuesdays 3 to 4 p.m. for six sessions
- Fun Events/Education Group once a month on Tuesdays 4 to 5 p.m. ongoing to 24 months
- Individual/Family Therapy (Social Work and/or Psychology) and/or meetings with the dietitian and exercise therapist as needed
- STOMP Clinic follow up at 3, 6, 9, 12 and 24 months. Repeat blood work & tests at 6 and 12 months.
What happens at the closed support group?
We have found that many families who spent time together in the first 10 weeks have wanted to continue to meet with the same people that they already feel comfortable talking with. A closed support group will allow for those who wish to continue to work together to meet regularly. Topics for the group are selected and tailored to your group’s wishes and can include topics like bullying, parenting strategies, body image, coping with school stress etc. Participation in this group is optional.
What happens at the Fun Events/Education Group?
On Tuesdays, you will join other STOMP teens and parents in a fun, interactive activity focused around nutrition or physical activity from 4 to 5 p.m. We have great partnerships with Loblaws for grocery store tours and cooking classes as well as an opportunity to explore activities such as rock climbing, aquatics and basketball at the St. Albans Boys and Girls Club. We will offer special modules for more focused learning around specific healthy lifestyle topics such as lipid and diabetes classes, nutrition modules and activities such as yoga and circuit training classes.
Families will come up to 2 Tuesdays per month initially (one for individual appointments and one for closed support group followed by activity/education group) and then over time decrease the frequency to once per month for activity/education group. We throw a STOMP holiday party in December, a summer picnic and occasionally have tickets for outings to see Toronto sports teams play.
What other treatments do we offer?
Medications: We often get asked if there are any medicines that may help with weight loss. We know there is no ‘magic pill’ and most medications that have been tested have only shown very modest weight loss (2-5 kg or 4-11 lb). In select cases, we may suggest addition of a medication combined with healthy lifestyle choices.
Bariatric Surgery: Surgery can be a very effective tool to assist with weight loss when combined with making other healthy lifestyle choices. Our program is funded for a limited number of surgeries each year, and therefore only a small number of patients have surgery. As the only paediatric bariatric program in Canada that performs bariatric surgery in adolescents, we continue to conduct research to better understand who will respond best to the procedure and what the complications may be if the patient is not a good candidate. One of the requirements to be considered a candidate for bariatric surgery, involves active participation in our STOMP weight management program for a minimum of six months and ongoing effort made towards positive behavioural changes. Additionally, leading up to surgery, we require ongoing program participation with increased frequency of visits, and continued follow up in STOMP Clinic for two years after surgery.