Feeding Ourselves to “Feed Hope”
There are many stigmas that are present throughout society today. And many of them are centered around people’s physical attributes. But one stigma in particular is starting to become more socially acceptable to talk about: mental illnesses. Amoung the 200 official mental illnesses that are diagnosable, eating disorder are statistically the deadliest. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is a non-profit organization who’s mission is to support individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and provide education about prevention and treatment.
What exactly is an eating disorder?
Eating disorders are a mental illness that manifest both mentally and physically. They often times involve having extreme emotions, behaviors, and attitudes pertaining to food and weight.
What types of eating disorders are there?
Well eating disorders can be classified into three main categories:
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Binge Eating Disorder
What exactly is NEDA?
NEDA was founded in 2001 when two non profits, Eating Disorders Awareness Prevention, and American Anorexia Bulimia Organization, merged together to create the largest eating disorder prevention and awareness organization on the globe. They provide several programs and services, such as:
- Information and Referral Helpline
- Educational tools for in depth learning about eatings disorders
- Solutions Through Advocacy & Reform (STAR) program
- Proud2beme.org where those affected by eating disorders can talk to others are find support
- Online screening tool to determine if someone is at risk for disordered eating
- Support groups
What is NEDA doing in terms of making recovery possible?
Let’s watch this video clip to gain a better understanding of how NEDA is working towards their goal of making recovery possible for everyone affected by eating disorders
<iframe width=”560" height=”315" src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/FLASCV-9HKs" frameborder=”0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
It is quite evident from the video that NEDA is an organization that is heavily volunteer based. Many volunteers in the video were survivors of an eating disorder, and had made full recoveries. Several stating that they find it incredibly rewarding to be able to give back and help others through something that they have also previously struggled with.
Why should I volunteer for NEDA?
NEDA has many different volunteer positions for all types of people. Volunteers are trained to answer phone calls from the help line, run events throughout the year, give doctor referrals, and many other tasks. Often times the volunteers at NEDA are the first point of contact that individuals struggling with eating disorders talk to. So volunteers are extremely important to the organization not only to help operations to run smoothly, but also for individuals all over the country to reach out to.