By: Lydia Rogers ~Staff Writer~
Active Minds will be teaming up with the Student Health Advisory Council to host National Eating Disorder Awareness Week Feb. 24 – 28. The groups aim to start conversations on campus about how people should think and talk about eating disorders.
The events will focus on educating students about the deeper issues regarding eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, which affect about 24 million in the United States according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Diseases.
“Eating disorders are mental illnesses, so by definition they are about more than just insecurities regarding weight and body image,” Active Minds President Kaela Allton said.
For the first event, Mirrorless Monday on Feb. 24, Active Minds and Student Health Advisory Council members will cover all the mirrors on campus with posters that promote a cognitive recognition that people are more than what they see in the mirror.
There will also be a showing of the documentary “Thin,” which openly demonstrates the negative effects of eating disorders, on Monday evening.
On Feb. 25, the groups will host a media literacy discussion, which will be an engaging and interactive presentation on ways through which the media may distort people’s frame of mind and may lead to disordered eating.
The groups will host a panel discussion in which professionals with experience in researching and treating eating disorders will talk about what they believe college students need to know about eating disorders, on Feb. 26.
In hopes of promoting healthy ways to treat the body, Vitality will be hosting free yoga sessions in the Gallagher Student Center (GSC) and Active Minds will also have free Zumba sessions on Feb, 27.
Active Minds and Student Health Advisory Council will prepare for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week by hosting an activity in GSC a week before the scheduled events take place.
At the event, students can write positive personal characteristics on a white board and have their pictures taken with them holding the whiteboard. These pictures will be hung on posters around campus during the awareness week.
“The goal of this is to promote a value of the self that is based on inner qualities rather than physical features,” Allton said. “Most people are aware that eating disorders are a serious issue, but it is crucial for everyone to be able to detect and handle the symptoms and complexities of eating disorders, either in themselves or loved ones.”