This week, February 21 through 27, is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness Week). NEDAwareness Week brings attention to eating disorders and encourages communities to raise money to help those struggling with this serious health issue.
Around 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States suffer from an eating disorder at some time in their life, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. Untreated, an eating disorder can lead to health consequences including osteoporosis, heart arrhythmia, dehydration, muscle loss, damage to the digestive system, chronic diseases, and even death. The incidence of eating disorders has increased for several decades, and is starting to affect children at increasingly younger ages.
The University of Georgia and Athens communities are dedicated to creating a culture to support a healthy body image and support to those affected by eating disorders, and have organized some events for NEDAwareness week.
Read below to see the ways that you can help out with this year’s NEDAwareness Week in Athens and make a difference:
Athens NEDAwareness Week 2016 Events
Fab’rik For NEDA
When: Wednesday, February 24 from 7 to 9 pm.
Where: Fab’rik Boutique; 142 E. Clayton St, Athens GA
Check out Fab’rik, one of Athen’s downtown boutiques for affordable high style fashion, and the opportunity to raise money for NEDA. Between 7 and 9 pm, 20 percent of all sales will be donated to the National Eating Disorders Association. Isn’t it time to start thinking about your spring wardrobe?
Percentage Night at Chick-Fil-A
When: Tuesday, February 24 from 5 to 8 pm
Where: Chick-Fil-A at Beechwood; 196 Alps Rd, Athens GA
UGA student organization FLY (For Loving Yourself) has teamed up with the Chick-Fil-A at Beechwood for a NEDA percentage night. Mention NEDA at the register for proceeds to go to the organization. Now you have a reason to get some extra waffle fries.
Athens NEDA Walk
When: Saturday, February 27 at 9 am
Where: University of Georgia Health Center; 55 Carlton St, Athens GA
Join the Athens community with National Walk Sponsor Aerie for Athen’s annual NEDA walk. This event is part of a national effort to bring more awareness to the dangers of eating disorders and the needs of early intervention and treatment. There is still time to register for the event, and if walking isn’t your thing you can still donate. Help the Athens NEDA group reach their goal of raising $15,000.
Eating Disorder Resources in Athens
Sometimes the hardest part about having an eating disorder is seeking treatment. Early treatment could mean the difference between a quick recovery or life-threatening complications. Here are some local resources available in the Athens community:
UGA University Health Center
The University Health Center’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services department has an eating disorders program available for students. They offer a comprehensive evaluation measuring current psychological, nutritional, and physical status to determine the severity and type of eating disorder present. Treatment is provided by a multidisciplinary team consisting of psychotherapists, a registered dietitian, a physician’s assistant, and a psychiatrist when needed.
Further information on how to contact the UHC about their services is available here.
For students in recovery from an eating disorder, UGA offers a Collegiate Recovery Community for students to receive peer support and other recovery support services. This service is available in 216 Memorial Hall and is free for students.
The Eating Disorders Recovery Center of Athens has been part of the Athens community for over 14 years, and has helped hundreds of men and women reclaim their lives from eating disorders. Their treatment team consists of a highly trained team of psychologists, clinicians, and a dietitian who tailor treatment to individual needs. Services provided include individual counseling and group therapy sessions.
There are several service providers in Athens who specialize in eating disorder treatment. Visit the Athens Area Psychological Association website for a list of available psychologists.
If you feel that you or someone you know may be at risk for an eating disorder, please take a few minutes of your time to take the National Eating Disorders Association’s online eating disorder screening tool. Additional resources are also available on their website.