by Brittany Rosso
LEWISTON, N.Y.- National Eating Disorder Awareness Week begins Feb. 26 until March 4. The goal of this week is to raise awareness of eating disorders and bring attention to available resources for those who may be affected by disorders, allowing for early intervention and improved access to treatment. National Eating Disorder Awareness Week was created by the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA). “NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care.” The NEDA website also offers free online screenings, help, support, treatment information, ways to get involved, and educational information.
“In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN), Binge Eating Disorder (BED), or an Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED).” Culture, society, and media are known to have complicated and contorted many of our relationships with food, exercise, and body image, often times leading to eating disorders and other mental health disorders.
According to NEDA, “30 million Americans will struggle with a full-blown eating disorder and millions more will battle food and body image issues that have untold negative impacts on their lives.” However, stigmas and stereotypes prevent people from getting the help that they deserve. The goals of this non-profit organization are to not only break the stigmas and stereotypes, but to raise awareness, start journeys for healing, and to direct people to support and resources that they need. NEDA uses social media, partnerships and events to help spread their message. If you are interested hosting a NEDA event, registering as a NEDA partner to support the campaign, or sharing your story on social media, visit www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/nedawareness.
If you feel that you, or anyone you know, may be struggling with an eating disorder, the NEDA website is a safe, comfortable place to reach out to experts and discover more about treatment, help, and support. You can also connect with NEDA through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube to familiarize yourself with warning signs and symptoms, risk factors, prevention and other general information regarding the organization and eating disorders. Students at Niagara University can also seek help through Campus Counseling Services. For more information on Campus Counseling Services, visit www.niagara.edu/counseling-self-help-resources.