For any cause, awareness is the first and most vital step to creating a change and making a difference. Word of mouth and starting the conversation about what it is you are passionate about is often the most effective. It is like throwing a stone into water and watching the information being transmitted from ripple to ripple.
Living Hope Eating Disorder Treatment Center and our Outreach team works hard to inform local clinicians that treatment for patients struggling with an eating disorder is available and that it is right here, in their community. There are very few treatment centers nation wide who specialize in the treatment of eating disorders, and only two in the entire state of Oklahoma, so it is incredibly important that doctors, therapists, dietitians, etc. who specialize in other areas know that Living Hope is here to be a resource for them and for their patients.
Recently, Living Hope has also dedicated a lot of time to raising awareness about eating disorders, who we are and about our programs and services on a larger scale. We have cast stones into multiple bodies of water including, NEDA Week, International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp) Symposium, Oklahoma City NEDA Walk and Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED).
NEDA Week took place from February 26 – March 4, 2018 and throughout that week we partnered with and held events on both the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) campuses, which included a Southern Smash event at UCO, screenings of the body positive documentary “Embrace” at both UCO and OU as well as informational tables on all three campuses, just to name a few. Living Hope also sponsored a public screening of the move “Embrace” at the Warren in Moore, inviting members of the community to get involved in learning about positive body image and eating disorders.
The 2018 iaedp Symposium in Orlando, FL was not only a learning opportunity for several members of our staff, but also an outlet for Living Hope to network with other professionals in the field from around the nation and create awareness about our treatment center and the programs and services we provide.
The Oklahoma Eating Disorders Association (OEDA) hosted the Oklahoma City NEDA Walk at the beginning of this month and together our staff, patients and community members walked to honor all of those who are currently struggling with an eating disorder and those who are in recovery.
A handful of our staff just returned from the ICED Conference in Chicago, IL and had the opportunity to speak about Living Hope to other clinicians from over 15 different countries from around the world who are also working hard to find and provide treatment for eating disorders.
The great thing about awareness is that it doesn’t’ have to be done on a grand scale. It can be effective when only one person is reached. That is why we need you to help us spread awareness about eating disorders, their signs and symptoms, how and where to get help, etc. We need you to be another stone creating a ripple effect of knowledge so that those who are struggling know that they are not alone, that there is help our there for them, that there is hope and that recovery is possible.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please call 1-833-206-6921 for a FREE and confidential assessment.