In a perfect world, there would be absolutely no need to have an entire week dedicated to eating disorder awareness. However, as long as the rate of eating disorders continues to escalate throughout our country, Timberline Knolls is extremely thankful for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDAW).
This week is designed to educate the public and increase widespread awareness about these disorders. Focused on the importance of early intervention and recognition of the diverse experience of those impacted by disordered eating, this year’s theme is “I HAD NO IDEA “-
-That eating disorders aren’t just a phase
-That my passion had become a problem
-That bullying can trigger disordered eating
-That eating disorders don’t discriminate
-That the perfect image I see every day is a digital illusion
In support of NEDAW, Timberline Knolls will have many activities on campus involving staff and residents. Exceptional speakers will deliver the message of hope throughout the week. Groups will embody strength and courage through education on topics from eating disorder recovery to movement and art groups, all of which will translate the message of resilience using color, canvas, and the residents themselves.
Residents will join together as a community to share a message of hope and strength through a creative performance using song, poetry, and spoken words.
A group of residents will collaborate to write a Declaration of Independence from their eating disorder and sign it as their commitment to the healing process of recovery. This declaration will remain in the dining hall throughout the year for future residents to sign.
We will also invite staff to participate by making a contribution to the Alliance for Eating Disorders or donating jeans, which will be given to a local domestic violence shelter for women and children. Residents will also have an opportunity to donate jeans accompanied by a letter written directly to the garment. This is a healthy method of practicing how to put words to what the jeans meant to them in their eating disorder, then letting that representation go.
All of us in the behavioral health field look forward to the time when a week dedicated to eating disorders is no longer necessary. Until then, we will continue to actively support NEDAW.