National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2019 occurs at the end of February and stretches through the beginning of March. In preparation, organizations and advocates across the country have mobilized to publicize the seven-day stretch from Feb. 25 to March 3 in which a number of events and activities take place to raise awareness of eating disorders.
While there's still time left before National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, it's important to take a look at some of the associated plans, campaigns and resources. Sharing such information with friends, family and your larger community can help spur participation and NEDAW recognition.
The theme for this year's observance, as decided by the National Eating Disorder's Association (NEDA), is "Come as You Are." The NEDA explained the sentiment behind it as sending "a message to individuals at all stages of body acceptance and eating disorders recovery that their stories are valid." The intention is to inspire conversations that address the struggles of eating disorders, the stories of success, the process of reaching out for help and the personal experiences of those who've been affected.
As the NEDA implores, "[During NEDAW] come as you are, not as you think you should be."
"Education about eating disorders is a big need in the U.S. and across the globe."
Beat, a U.K.-based group committed to helping others overcome and understand eating disorders, released a survey last year that found low marks among adults in recognizing symptoms. On average, respondents could only identify 3 out of a possible 68 signs. And that's just of those who could provide a correct answer: Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 34 percent couldn't name one sign. Further reinforcing the hidden consequence to mental health, 79 percent weren't able to name a psychological symptom related to eating disorders, like low self-confidence or body dysmorphia.
Education about eating disorders is a big need in the U.S. and across the globe, which is why the U.K. is also observing its own Eating Disorders Awareness Week from Feb. 25 to March 3. Both NEDA and Beat have a number of resources (including downloadable assets) to assist in the lead-up to and during the week of.
Raising awareness is a national effort, but it also takes place on a community level. In that spirit, localities and cities across the country will be hosting their own alliance walks, workshops, forums and other events. It's important to check in with organizations in the area or region for info about what's happening close to you, as there are many diverse ways the country is observing National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
For instance, Grand Rapids, Michigan, will light a locally well-known bridge in green and blue (the colors of NEDAW) in a symbol that will take place from coast to coast. In previous years, the Empire State Building and LAX airport have been lit green and blue, while many other landmarks are expected to don such colors in 2019.
If interested in how you can raise awareness, participate in NEDAW or help a loved one struggling with an eating disorder, contact Fairwinds Treatment Centers today.