Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"I Had No Idea..." Raising Awareness about Eating Disorders and Body Image

"I Had No Idea..." Raising Awareness about Eating Disorders and Body Image

To promote a healthy body image and increase awareness about eating disorders on our community, the Andrews University Counseling & Testing Center will be sponsoring an interactive event during the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 23 – March 1, 2014).

Faculty, staff, and students are welcomed to participate during our Awareness Event on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014, from 11:30am-2pm. All are invited to post messages of acceptance and encouragement, learn about the impact of eating disorders on mental health, discuss the role of culture and media in distorting body image, and discover ways to help a friend or family member who might be struggling with these concerns.

Also, we will be offering confidential screenings. The eating disorder screening consists of a brief, anonymous questionnaire designed to provide students with insight into symptoms they might be experiencing and receive helpful treatment and referral information, if necessary. In addition to in-person screenings during the Awareness Event, students can access an anonymous screening online at http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening/andrews

Excessive preoccupation about weight and diets can lead to disordered eating habits. These unhealthy habits can be difficult to recognize, but over time, can develop into an eating disorder.  The majority of students struggling with eating disorders are not receiving treatment. The screenings available help direct students to the appropriate care they need.

Eating disorders are more prevalent on college campuses than many people realize. In fact, 95 percent of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25. Twenty-five percent of college-aged women report engaging in bingeing and purging as a weight-management technique. And college males are not immune. Increasingly, men are feeling the pressure for physical perfection which can lead to excessive exercise and fixation on low body fat percentage.

Come, participate, and help in promoting a healthy body image and greater awareness of eating disorders in our community. For more information, contact Dr. Luis G. Cruz-Ortega at cluis@andrews.edu or call the CTC at 269-471-3470.

Contact Luis G. Cruz-Ortega, PhD for more information at cluis@andrews.edu or by calling 269-471-3470.

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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104