You can help raise awareness about eating disorders and recovery resources by participating in the 2021 National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
Nearly 10% of Americans develop some form of eating disorder within their lifetime. These disorders are also incredibly dangerous, directly causing more than 10,000 deaths each year. In addition, around 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide. These factors make eating disorders some of the most damaging mental health conditions around.
To many people, this information comes as a surprise. Nearly 29 million Americans struggle with eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and others, so it’s important to shine the spotlight on how these disorders affect people. This is why the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) created National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
This year, the event takes place from February 22–28 to educate the public and share life-saving resources for those who may need them. However, its success depends on people like you who can raise awareness and support the movement. Fortunately, there are many simple but effective ways you can join in.
Ways to Participate
By participating in National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, you can learn more about how these conditions affect people, share information about eating disorders with others and provide resources to those who need them. This overview covers some ways you can participate.
Check the NEDA Events Calendar: NEDA provides a list of all the live events taking place throughout the week. There are dozens of virtual gatherings to choose from, including different workshops, webinars, performances, yoga sessions, documentaries and chances to share personal stories. You can join in these events to learn more about eating disorders and discover helpful resources for recovery.
Spread Knowledge with Event Campaign Resources: If you wish to raise awareness by educating yourself and sharing knowledge with others, NEDA provides a handy list of infographics, factsheets and promotional materials. Even just sharing a flyer on your social media profile can start a conversation and get others involved.
Social Media Campaigns: Speaking of social media, NEDA offers a wealth of tools that can help you raise awareness on social media apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Their list of resources includes tweet templates, shareable graphics, photo overlays and many other items to help you spread the word.
Share with the Media and Ask Support from Lawmakers: NEDA also urges people to act locally by reaching out to nearby news outlets, community leaders and politicians. Because eating disorders are still misunderstood by many, the support of powerful voices can help raise awareness throughout the country and help people access the life-saving resources they need.
What to Know About Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions caused by a combination of genetic, biological, social and psychological factors. In other words, eating disorders are rarely about the food itself — instead, the relationship with food is how someone copes with past traumas or co-occurring mental health conditions. Many people who struggle with an eating disorder have poor self-esteem, body image issues, anxiety, depression and other conditions.
Unhealthy eating may seem to help someone cope with mental health symptoms, but this process is incredibly damaging both mentally and physically. Effective recovery often requires professional treatment from mental health experts and nutritionists who can provide therapy and create healthier eating regimens. Raising awareness about these recovery services and addressing misconceptions surrounding eating disorders can help people find the resources they need.
Resources for You or Your Loved One
If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, there are many ways to find and receive help. NEDA provides a handy locator tool that allows people to find local treatment options and other resources for eating disorders. However, other options may not be listed through NEDA’s locator, such as hospitals, health care clinics, psychiatrists, therapists, nutritionists and other mental health care providers.
Online and Phone Helplines
In addition to their locator tool, NEDA has a helpline service that connects you with a trained professional who can give you information about resources, treatment and support options. The organization also hosts virtual support groups that allow people in recovery to connect, share stories and learn helpful strategies.
For those struggling with an eating disorder and a co-occurring addiction, the Orlando Recovery Center telehealth app can connect you with licensed therapists and counselors. These professionals provide virtual treatment via a smartphone, tablet or laptop, allowing you to access effective care in the comfort of your own home. We also provide a full continuum of care at our state-of-the-art rehab facility, which is staffed by a team of multidisciplinary experts and addiction specialists. Contact us today to learn more about treatment plans that can work well for your situation.