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National Eating Disorders Association Launches Proud2Bme on Campus in Response to Growing Student Need

Campus Survey Reveals Critical Lack of Services to Help Prevent, Identify & Treat Eating Disorders. Growing Epidemic Impacts 10-20% of Female & 4-10% of Male Students.

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September 16, 2014 (FPRC) --In response to the rising occurrence of eating disorders on college campuses and the ongoing lack of institutional services to help prevent, identify and treat them, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is launching the national initiative, Proud2Bme on Campus, a collegiate version of its online, youth outreach program. Proud2Bme (www.Proud2Bme.org) promotes healthy self-esteem and body confidence, giving young adults the tools to use their voices for personal and social change.

According to NEDA’s recent Collegiate Survey Project, greater funding and resources are much needed on college campuses to educate, screen and treat students struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating issues. The rate of eating disorders among college students has risen to 10 to 20 percent of women and four to10 percent of men. Athletes were identified as a particularly underserved population on campus.

Commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA, “The steady increase in eating disorders on college campuses is alarming and the lack of resources is dangerous. By providing these critical resources, more colleges will be better equipped to take action by providing early intervention and other support on campus … This could be key to a healthy future.”

Eating disorder screenings can be critical in identifying those struggling or at risk. Proud2Bme on Campus offers a free, online screening tool developed by professionals at Screening for Mental Health. Students can take a quick, anonymous, self-assessment survey. After completing the survey, follow-up referrals and support are available by calling NEDA’s helpline.

Sponsored by The Recovery Village – a full continuum of care facility treating eating disorders, substance abuse and mental health issues – Proud2Bme on Campus will offer guides for hosting campus awareness-raising events; toolkits for educators, administrators, athletic coaches and parents; webinar training for resident and peer advisors, led by experts in the eating disorders field; Google Hangouts for students; and more.

Commented Allison Walsh, director of business development and branding, “The Recovery Village is honored to support NEDA’s efforts in addressing the needs of college students across the country. From prevention to advocacy and providing the latest resources, we are excited to help equip collegians with the tools necessary to spread awareness about eating disorders and hopefully encourage those who need support to reach out for help.”

Proud2Bme on Campus has also partnered with professors from New York University and California State University, Northridge to work directly with student advocates who will develop eating disorder early intervention and awareness-raising projects that will be highlighted nationally through Proud2Bme in fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters.

“College students care about eating disorders awareness because they see firsthand how prevalent these illnesses are on their campuses,” said Sara Weekly, MD, instructor of NYU’s Advanced Seminar on Eating Disorders. “With more resources and opportunities to step up, they can be powerful advocates for positive change.”

Commented Professor Bobbie Eisenstock, who teaches a media literacy-driven, service-learning class at California State University, Northridge, “Students talk about how difficult it is not to be affected, even in a small way, by the picture-perfect body ideals and body snarking that is pervasive in our culture. Proud2Bme on Campus is a unique opportunity for college students to help educate, engage and empower their peers with critical thinking strategies to counteract these messages and promote self-acceptance and healthy lifestyle choices.”

About NEDA’s Collegiate Survey Project …

Respondents (campus service provider representatives) at 165 participating colleges and universities provided information on eating disorder-related programs and services, including: campus screening and awareness events; educational programs and workshops; counseling services; academic classes or programs; residence life and peer advisor programs; athlete services; and informational resources, such as articles, websites and pamphlets.

According to the survey, access to education, screenings and mental health resources aids in prevention efforts as well as encourages affected individuals to seek proper treatment. Overall, 73 percent of the colleges surveyed offer activities during NEDA’s annual NEDAwareness Week (Feb. 22-28 in 2015) and 94.1 percent of all respondents stated it is somewhat (36.1 percent) or very/extremely (58 percent) important.

While 100 percent of the respondents that offer education and screenings for athletes stated it is very/extremely important, only 2.5 percent of schools surveyed offer year-round prevention and education for athletes and only 22 percent offer screenings and referrals. Results indicate that additional funding and resources are necessary in order to meet the needs of students nationwide.

The increased pressure and stress of school and leaving home may lead to mental health problems among college students and a greater need for campus services. This is also a period of development in which disordered eating is likely to arise, resurface or worsen for many young men and women.

Statistics on Teens, Young Adults & Eating Disorders …

• More than half of teen girls and nearly a third of teen boys engage in unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals and using diet pills (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005).

• The typical age of eat disorder onset is 18-21. Many of these young people are college students (Hudson, 2007).

• Although some students will experiment with dieting and escape unscathed, 35 percent of “normal” dieters progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25 percent progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders (Shisslak & Crago, 1995).

• Given that eating disorders are the mental illness with the highest mortality rate (Arcelus, 2011), early detection, intervention and treatment is extremely important and gives an individual the best chance of recovery.

• Help-seeking decreases significantly when people are not aware of the options available to them (Ben-Porath, 2002; Friedman, 2009; Nolen-Hoeksema, 2006; Gould, 2007).

For more information on joining the Proud2Bme on Campus network, contact: info@Proud2Bme.org or the NEDA Helpline @ 800-931-2237

To read the full Collegiate Survey Project: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/CollegiateSurveyProject

About Proud2Bme:
Proud2Bme.org, launched by NEDA in 2011, provides youth with a positive, fun, interactive environment to learn, connect with others and take action for personal and social change. Offering news about entertainment, fashion, beauty and other relevant pop culture in a safe, age-appropriate environment, there are also forums where teens are able to interact and make new friends. In developing the site, high school and college students were asked to help identify top issues impacting them and their peers, relating to teen body image, self-esteem, media impact and disordered eating. The site’s content is created by and for young people, a group of whom act in an ongoing editorial advisory capacity to the site serve as moderators to ensure that all conversations on Proud2Bme promote body confidence and healthy recovery. NEDA has also forged relationships with Facebook and Tumblr in an advisory capacity to address issues in those popular networking spaces.

About The Recovery Village:
The Recovery Village provides complete rehabilitation for individuals who suffer from substance abuse, mental health and eating disorders. Located closely to Orlando, The Recovery Village is accredited by the Joint Commission and is a premier private treatment facility offering a full continuum of care. Patients enjoy the benefits of a caring, licensed staff, as well as luxurious facilities and amenities. For more information on treatment programs offered at The Recovery Village, please call (877) 977-7153 or visit www.TheRecoveryVillage.com

About the National Eating Disorders Association:
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in New York City, is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders. For more information, visit www.MyNEDA.org

# # #

For Treatment Referrals, Visit www.MyNEDA.org
Or Contact NEDA’s Live Helpline: 800-931-2237
Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (EST)
Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (EST)



Contacts:

Greenleaf & Associates — 323-660-5800

Vicki Greenleaf — vicki@greenleafandassociates.com

Kelly Williams — kelly@greenleafandassociates.com


Available for Interviews:

• Lynn Grefe, President and CEO of NEDA.
• Doctors, psychologists & other eating disorder treatment specialists.
• Recovered eating disorder patients.

Send an email to Kelly Williams of Greenleaf and Associates
323-660-5800



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