A number of UR organizations have worked together to support the promotion of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Eating disorders are commonly overlooked by the general public, which is ordinarily concerned with more publicized diseases.
The University typically does an excellent job of educating and informing students and faculty about health issues – this promotion is certainly no exception. The campaign is led by the University Health Services Health Promotion Office, which has also sponsored Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October as well as AIDS Awareness Week in early December.
One of the highlights of the week was an exhibit in the Hartnett Gallery, titled “Family Gathering: A Look into the World of Eating Disorders.” It exhibited furniture that drew on the artists’ own battles with eating disorders as well as providing visitors an anonymous way to discuss their own experiences. These personal touches allow people to feel more comfortable with issues that are difficult to discuss.
Perhaps the most important event scheduled is today’s Eating Disorders Screening where students will be provided a confidential conversation with a therapist. Free counseling such as this emphasizes how much care went into the planning of the events. Providing information is only part of the solution; giving students an accessible outlet for discussing their own troubles is paramount as well.
Alongside UHS, the week was brought together by many supporters throughout the UR community. An eating workshop at Eastman also demonstrates the dedication of these groups toward providing all students an opportunity to learn. Eating disorders cannot be solved in one week, but the vast array of co-sponsors has attempted to take a step toward educating students on the realities of such illnesses. The expansive organization between all of these groups is astounding and should be applauded.