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I’m incredibly excited to be an official partner for NEDAwareness Week 2016, and guess what? Today’s the kick-off! Even though it’s not Monday, I wanted to go ahead and share all the events happening over the next few days, so y’all can schedule accordingly. Keep an eye out for event updates, inspirational quotes, and helpful resources throughout the week on all my social media accounts (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest), and you can also follow along with the NEDA’s (National Eating Disorders Association) social media accounts (Facebook | Twitter | YouTube) for nationwide coverage, too. As many of you know, my dedication to shedding light on the international epidemic of eating disorders comes from a decade-long battle with Anorexia, Bulimia, and Body Dsymorphia (you can read my personal journey here), and my heart literally breaks when I see young girls (and boys) stumbling down a similar path. It’s imperative that we shift the way we speak about these mental illnesses, since, contrary what most adolescents believe, that’s what they are– illnesses.
The more we speak openly about eating disorders, the more normalized treatment will become– and the more affected individuals will seek help and support. This year, focus of NEDAwareness Week is on the importance of early intervention. The NEDA is encouraging the public to take just 3 minutes to complete the confidential online eating disorders screening at screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/NEDA. Taking 3 minutes to complete the screening will help determine if it is time to seek professional help.
#NEDAwareness on Social Media
So, aside from sharing this amazing online resource that could potentially reach someone who’s suffering in silence, how can you participate? Here are a few of the week’s easy-to-join social media events:
- Google Hangout, 2/22 – The Time is Now: Early Intervention & Eating Disorders
- Twitter Chat, 2/22 – Awareness to Action, hosted by @Proud2BmeUS
- Twitter Chat, 2/23 – Getting Healthy: The Many Faces of Eating Disorders Recovery
- Day of Action, 2/24 – Educate elected leaders from across the country about eating disorders & support critical legislation
Also, if you happen to live in or be visiting New York, here are a few official NEDAwareness Week events going on in the area:
- Mon. 2/22 – Open house at the NEDA headquarters in New York
- Tues. 2/23 – Landmark building lightings across the country – find one near you! (more on in this below)
- Sun. 2/28 – Beyond Hunger: Understanding, Treating & Coping with Binge Eating Disorder conference in Uniondale, NY
Buildings across the Country to Observe NEDAwareness Week
Landmark buildings from New York to California will be illuminated in blue and green on Tuesday, February 23rd in honor of #NEDAwareness Week! If you live near one of these 45 landmarks (Shoutout to all my fellow Central Floridians: Lake Eola Park will be lit up!), please take pictures and post on your social media network with the hashtag #NEDAwareness or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, so the NEDA can collect them all!
Official NEDAwareness Week Partners
It’s never too early or too late to become an Official NEDAwareness Week Partner! NEDAwareness Week partners are national and regional organizations that have committed to raising eating disorder awareness. Whether you’re a small grassroots organization or a major media company, we want you as a partner! Together, we can raise awareness and make eating disorders history. Visit the NEDAwareness site and download the Partner Packet to get involved.
The Power of 3
You can also find or post an NEDAwareness event in your area here. If you just want to learn more without formally reaching out to anyone or giving any of your information, which I of all people understand, here are some incredible toolkits for getting help for yourself or a loved one from the NEDA.
Remember, when I becomes We, even illness becomes wellness. Happy NEDAwareness Week!