February 20-26, 2011, is an important week for as many as 10 million women and girls and one million men and boys fighting a life-and-death battle with anorexia or bulimia, and another 25 million fighting a binge eating disorder, and for those who love them. Countrywide, February 20-26 is NEDAwareness Week.
The National Eating Disorders Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders, serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. NEDA highlights this week annually to call attention to and educate the public on eating disorders and body image issues, which killed anorexic model and eating disorders spokeswoman Isabelle Caro last fall.
“NEDA Week is one way to wage the war on unrealistic, body-perfect expectations,” said Dr. Kimberly Dennis, a Chicago psychiatrist and director of the Timberline Knolls residential treatment center, which offers help to women with eating disorders.
Located just outside Chicago, Timberline Knolls is one of the nation’s leading residential treatment centers. Designed exclusively for women, the center specializes in helping women ages 12 and older, offering treatment for substance abuse, eating disorders, and severe depression.
“NEDA is here to support the millions of families whose loved ones are battling eating disorders,” says NEDA CEO Lynn Grefe. “How do we do it? By offering the latest information, resources, action-oriented advocacy and media campaigns to educate the public and policymakers and, most importantly, a sense of community to people often feeling alone and overwhelmed in their struggle to access quality, affordable care.” The association hopes to reduce the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improve access to treatment. You can reach the NEDA helpline at 800.931.2237.
Dr. Daniel F. Le Grange, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago, serves NEDA’s on Clinical and Scientific Advisory Council (CSAC), providing clinical and scientific counsel, guidance, and advice to the organization’s board, staff, and committees. Dr. Le Grange directs the Eating Disorders Program at the University of Chicago.
About the artwork. Chicago artist Katharine Keihn created A Woman in Love, the pictured exhibit, last year with acrylic paint, blazer, and hood clothing. Kiehn will speak on the connection between body image and art at Timberline Knolls residential treatment center on Tuesday as part of the center’s weeklong Rejoice in Recovery celebration. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Kiehn works as an art therapist, recently helping an outpatient population of chronically mentally ill adults.
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