BY: Christine Peat, PhD
DATE: February 7, 2017
As many of you are likely aware, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) spearheads an annual event to encourage awareness, conversation, and involvement in eating disorders activism and outreach. The National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAW) is an opportunity to focus a national discussion on the importance of identifying, treating, and preventing eating disorders and to provide resources for these often stigmatized and underdiagnosed conditions. The NEDAW 2017 (February 26th – March 4th) theme is “It’s Time to Talk About It” and NEDA is encouraging everyone to get screened, get help, or get involved.
Get Screened: Last year, NEDA launched their free and confidential online screening for eating disorders and this screening tool has been lauded as an important resource for those who might be questioning whether or not they are dealing with disordered eating thoughts or behaviors. The screening connects participants with a volunteer at the end of the quiz which can help funnel identified individuals toward crucial treatment.
Get Help: For those who might have already recognized that they are struggling, NEDA has curated a host of resources including: identifying local eating disorder treatment providers, providing access to a 24-hour helpline, and developing tools and resources specifically geared toward parents, friends, and loved ones of those with eating disorders. There are even resources tailored for medical professionals, coaches, and educators – all of which are available for free online.
Get Involved: Many in the eating disorder community are eager for opportunities to become involved in activism, outreach, and education, and NEDAW 2017 provides an excellent avenue for such endeavors! NEDA has created many shareable images and graphics which are a quick and easy way to be involved in this year’s activities. Part of an organization that is passionate about eating disorder awareness? You can host an event in your area, give a talk on eating disorders, or become an official partner of NEDAW 2017! You can also share the Faces of Recovery video and stories which help remind everyone that although eating disorders do not discriminate based on age, race, weight, or socioeconomic status, recovery is possible with appropriate treatment and the consistent support of loved ones.
So for this year’s NEDAW, let’s talk about it and join the conversation by sharing the above resources, challenging common myths and stereotypes about eating disorders, and taking action ensure better prevention and treatment. With your help, NEDAW 2017 has the potential to be an inclusive movement with the power to make a significant, positive change in the lives of those affected by eating disorders.