Raising awareness: Destigmatizing eating disorder


What sparked my interest to want to raise awareness for eating disorders is because this subject is not talked about very often in schools. It’s important that mental illness is covered in schools because many struggle with these disorders. Eating disorders are a daily struggle for 10 million females and 1 million males in the United States. According to the Walden Center for Education and  Research, 40% of teenage females have eating disorders. By educating student and teachers it will help create more of a comfortable subject to discuss in classes.


Many high schoolers don’t understand the root cause of stigma and why they think like this. 30 million people suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their lifetime. I want to understand where stigmas associated with eating disorders come from, and to learn ways to reduce these stigmas.


I would like to possibly have an eating disorder awareness week at my school. My plan is to make posters to hang around the school. I would like to Include addresses for different eating disorder treatment centers. I would also include information on what to do if you know someone that has an eating disorder. Lastly, I would like to somehow implement discussing eating disorders into health classes. I am in a program called WINGS, which is a senior-freshmen peer mentoring program at my school. It would be a great idea to somehow institute educating students/faculty about eating disorders and the trigger warnings that are associated. 


My next step is to have a conversation with my school counselor to see how I can move forward, and to create posters that will be displayed across campus. The big question that I would like to find a solution to is how do we help people help people? I know that a lot of people are often put in the position where they know someone that struggles with an eating disorder, but they are unsure of how to help the person. I would also like to know about how do we go about tackling this issue.

My plan:
1. These are the two posters that I would like my product to resemble. I like how on the left poster facts are included, and a phone number to contact a counselor. As well as those two, I really like how the poster on the right includes symptoms to most common eating disorders and the danger signs that are associated with it. These posters will be hung up around the most popular places on the campus such as the bathroom, the barn, vollum, and dant.

Here is the poster that I created.


2. Implement a eating disorder awareness week into the school’s curriculum. Talk to the school counselor about how to do this. We will spend a week discussing anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders in each of the freshman health classes. It would be great to have this be taught by students from my school as well as a couple of faculty.




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