World ED action day

World Eating Disorders Action Day: Raising Awareness and Taking Action

This year, as every year, Galen Hope is proud to participate in World Eating Disorders Action Day. Because of our commitment to treating eating disorders, awareness campaigns like this one are very important to us. This year, the organizers of the official World Eating Disorders Action Day remind us: 

  • Worldwide, over 70 million people are estimated to be affected by an eating disorder, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and otherwise specified feeding eating disorders (OSFED) 
  • Eating disorders have the SECOND HIGHEST MORTALITY RATE of any psychiatric illness. 
  • Eating Disorders affect people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, socioeconomic class, abilities, races, and ethnic backgrounds. It is time to take action. 

They also remind us, and we strongly believe, that eating disorder recovery is possible with proper care. 

We celebrate the official theme of this year’s campaign, and want to encourage our readers to get involved with the mission to: 

  • Advocate for early intervention and evidence-based treatment. 
  • Affirm parents/families as key players in their children’s/loved one’s treatment and recovery. 
  • Call for increased diversity in research, narratives, media, and professionals working in the field, so as to uplift marginalized communities and underrepresented global regions. 
  • Address the lack of access to affordable, culturally competent, representative and comprehensive care among underserved populations. 
  • Promote that eating disorders are treatable at all ages/stages. 

We also want to share, and encourage you to embrace our own action plan, which is as follows: Learn about it; Talk about it; Do something about it. 

Learn About It: Psychoeducation 

We believe that expanding the general knowledge about eating disorders, through blogs like ours, and through ongoing community efforts, is key to prevention and recovery.  

Learning about eating disorders is crucial for several reasons: 

Understanding the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of eating disorders allows for early recognition and intervention. By being knowledgeable, individuals can identify potential warning signs in themselves or others and seek professional help promptly. Early intervention significantly improves treatment outcomes and increases the chances of recovery. 

Having knowledge about eating disorders enables individuals to support their loved ones who may be experiencing these conditions. It allows for informed conversations, active listening, and the provision of emotional support. With understanding, friends and family members can play a vital role in encouraging treatment, offering reassurance, and being a source of strength throughout the recovery process. 

Learning about eating disorders promotes prevention efforts by focusing on healthy body image, self-esteem, and a balanced approach to food and exercise. It helps individuals recognize the harmful effects of societal pressures, diet culture, and unrealistic beauty standards, encouraging them to cultivate a positive relationship with their bodies and prioritize overall well-being. By promoting prevention, we can work towards reducing the incidence of eating disorders. 

Talk About It: Reducing Stigma and Isolation

Eating disorders often carry stigma and misconceptions, which can contribute to shame, isolation, and delays in seeking help. Talking openly about eating disorders helps break down these stigmas by providing accurate information and fostering empathy and understanding. This creates a more supportive environment where individuals feel comfortable seeking help and receiving appropriate care. 

Here are some ideas for talking about eating disorders: 

Providing Accurate Information:

Share accurate and evidence-based information about eating disorders to counter misconceptions and myths. Use reliable sources such as reputable websites, books, and academic research to provide factual information about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for eating disorders. 

Sharing Personal Stories:

Personal stories have a powerful impact in humanizing the experiences of individuals with eating disorders. Encourage individuals who have personal experience with eating disorders to share their stories, either through written narratives, interviews, or public speaking engagements. Personal stories can help break down stereotypes, create empathy, and foster understanding. 

Organizing Educational Events:

Plan and host educational events such as workshops, seminars, or panel discussions to raise awareness about eating disorders. Invite experts, mental health professionals, and individuals in recovery to share their knowledge and experiences. These events provide an opportunity to address misconceptions, answer questions, and engage in open dialogue. 

Collaborating with Community Organizations:

Partner with community organizations, schools, universities, and healthcare facilities to conduct educational campaigns or workshops. Collaborative efforts amplify the message and reach a wider audience. Engage with schools to incorporate education about eating disorders into health curriculum or organize awareness events during specific awareness months or weeks. 

Training Healthcare Professionals: 

Conduct training sessions or workshops for healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, therapists, and counselors, to enhance their understanding of eating disorders. Provide them with up-to-date information, screening tools, and resources to identify and refer individuals with eating disorders for appropriate treatment. 

Engaging Schools and Educational Institutions:  

Collaborate with schools and universities to incorporate education about eating disorders into health classes, wellness programs, or awareness campaigns. Provide educational materials, presentations, or workshops tailored to different age groups to increase awareness and prevention efforts. 

Encouraging Professional Training:  

Advocate for professional training programs to include comprehensive education about eating disorders for mental health professionals, teachers, and other relevant fields. Increasing the knowledge and competency of professionals in recognizing and addressing eating disorders is vital for early intervention and effective support. 

Do Something About It: Advocacy and Taking Action 

The final step of our World Eating Disorders Action Day plan is to get involved in doing something about eating disorders on the personal, local, and cultural levels. 

Seeking Treatment 

Seeking professional help and accessing available treatment options are crucial steps in the journey towards recovery from eating disorders.  

Eating disorders are complex conditions that require specialized knowledge and expertise for accurate assessment and diagnosis. Seeking professional help allows individuals to receive a thorough evaluation by trained healthcare professionals who can determine the specific type and severity of the eating disorder. This assessment is essential for developing an appropriate treatment plan. 

 Professional help ensures that individuals receive personalized treatment plans tailored to their unique needs. Mental health professionals, including therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, can design evidence-based interventions that address the specific challenges and underlying factors contributing to the eating disorder. Treatment plans may include therapy, nutritional counseling, medical monitoring, and sometimes medication, depending on the individual’s needs. 

Advocacy & Legislation 

Policy changes are essential to provide adequate support and resources for individuals with eating disorders. 

Policy changes can help improve access to evidence-based treatment for eating disorders. This includes ensuring that treatment options are covered by insurance plans, reducing financial barriers, and increasing the availability of specialized eating disorder treatment centers. Policies can also support the training and recruitment of healthcare professionals with expertise in eating disorder treatment. 

Creating policies that allocate funding for research on eating disorders are vital. Increased research funding can support studies to better understand the underlying causes, risk factors, and treatment outcomes of eating disorders. This knowledge can inform evidence-based practices, treatment guidelines, and the development of more effective interventions for individuals with eating disorders. 

Perhaps we can create policies to support public awareness campaigns to challenge stigma, promote understanding, and foster empathy for individuals with eating disorders. By destigmatizing eating disorders, like we mentioned above, society can create a more supportive and inclusive environment that encourages help-seeking and reduces barriers to treatment. 

Prevention and Speaking Out Against Diet Culture 

We also need to take action culturally, to change how we think about bodies, weight, and diets. The destructive impacts of diet culture are well documented, and yet too few are actively combatting it by speaking out against it. By championing positive body image, health at every size, and prioritizing nourishment when eating, we can begin to counteract the long impact of media and diet culture.  

the road to wellness starts by seeking help. today.  

Built on the principles of assertive community treatment, Galen Hope is an eating disorder and mental health treatment center offering individualized treatment options that include Intensive Outpatient (IOP), supported housing, and Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP). As a “Community of Integrated Wellness,” we pride ourselves in fostering a thoughtful and meaningful care experience that can guide our clients on their road to recovery and increased quality of life, regardless of diagnosis. Galen Hope currently offers separate, age-specific programming for adolescents ages 12-17 and adults 18 and up, of all genders.  

To learn more, or to join our community for integrated wellness, please contact us today 

Belong. Heal. Grow.

Scroll to Top