National Eating Disorders Awareness Week Is Not Enough
I hope you’ll join me in a resounding hand clap for our friends at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) for hosting National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This year’s campaign—Three Minutes Can Save a Life—made its way through social media and the press.
There were grand gestures, including the Empire State Building lighting up for #NEDAwareness.
… Real Simple magazine published a brilliant piece on positive body image for daughters.
Watch Cut’s video that asked the question, “How do you feel when you’re told you don’t look like you have an eating disorder?” went viral with over half a million views (and counting).
Our friends at NEDA hosted events nationwide and leveraged the power of social media to keep the conversation going.
… as did our friends at Project Heal with their #WhatMakesMeBeautiful campaign
Plus hundreds of healthcare professionals, past and present ED sufferers, family and friends of ED suffers, and friends-of-friends helped create the buzz by attending events and sharing content online.
And if you are reading this blog entry, you already know how ERC dedicated this entire week to #NEDAwareness online and in the media.
It was a tremendous, coordinated event, but was it enough?
For those who have dedicated their careers to eating disorders research, treatment and recovery, the answer is “no.” For those who have ever suffered from an eating disorder, the answer is “no.” For those who have endured the pain of watching a loved one struggle with this illness, the answer is “no.”
As long as it bears the unwelcome distinction of having the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, it is not enough. As long as it claims one life every 62 minutes, it is not enough. As long as there are men, women, children and adolescents still in need of treatment, then our work is not done.
We need to use the momentum we gathered this week to continue our work.
We need to reach even more people and help more sufferers through education, awareness, and the commitment to get them the help they deserve.
For those of us who have made this our life’s work, we will continue to use every platform at our disposal. In addition to the work we do every day in our centers and online, on May 3 we will kick off the first-ever “Eating Recovery Day” as an event to continue building awareness and inspiring hope for recovery.
But we can’t do all this alone. So please help us. Share information and reach a hand out to those in need.
Thank you for all that you’ve done and all that you continue to do. Together we can make a difference and save lives.