June 2, 2017, 9:14 p.m.
June 2nd is the 2nd annual World Eating Disorder Day. Together with organizations all over the world, we are banding together to raise awareness and ignite action all over the world. I have personally been working in the world of eating disorders for the last four years. Before that, I lived with an eating disorder for over half of my life. My personal connection to eating disorders drives the work that I do and in this field, my story is not unique.
Many people who work and volunteer at NEDIC have been personally affected or have had a loved one struggle with eating disorders. It is through seeing the devastating impact that EDs have on a person’s life that individuals find the passion and motivation to create change in the eating disorder field.
We already know that there are organizations at all corners of our planet that work tirelessly to address the impact of eating disorders, but why do we need World Eating Disorder Day?
Eating disorders affect people from all backgrounds in all corners of the world. Working on breaking down the stigma is a full time job. Some cultures and populations have a more difficult time accepting EDs as a serious illness. Doing destigmatizing work helps those who are suffering in silence to come forward and get the help that they might need.
Eating disorders take more and more lives each year. Not only those who are counted in the mortality rate statistics. But they take life away from those who are struggling and from their loved ones. These illnesses are so often overlooked despite the fact that they can be personally, psychologically, physically and financially devastation to those who are affected.
We need to make more noise to get more attention, to get more funding to get more research and treatment. For the number of lives that eating disorders take every year and the amount of harm they have on peoples’ lives, there is a disproportionately small amount of money and research in the field. This often results in fewer results available for people who are suffering, their loved ones and professionals in the field. Serious changes need to happen in order to really make a difference.
We can’t create change on our own, but we might be able to make a difference together. We are stronger together than we are apart. World ED day was started by a small group of volunteers and is now a worldwide initiative. If we continue to work in this direction, we may actually be able to see the changes we desperately need.
The reasons don’t stop here. The reasons we need this day are countless. We hope that you join NEDIC and all of our partner organizations on this day to donate, raise awareness, and take action! Visit http://www.worldeatingdisordersday.org/ for more information.
Marbella Carlos BFA, BEd, OCT, is NEDIC’s Outreach and Education Coordinator. She has taught in experiential learning centres, arts organizations, the public school system and community engagement programs for learners of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. She is currently facilitating “The Skin I’m In” a 3 part, arts-based workshop designed for the BIPOC community at Sheena’s Place, a centre in Toronto for those affected by eating disorders.
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