Feb 292012
Authors: Taylor Pettaway

According to the Eating Recovery Center of Denver, more than 11 million Americans struggle with eating disorders, including as many as 10 percent of college females and 10 to 15 percent of college-aged males.

And to raise awareness for this problem, the CSU Health Network has partnered with Beyond the Mirror Counseling and Wellness and the Eating Recovery Center of Denver this week to put on National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, a week where health professionals have the chance to educate students about eating disorders on college campuses.

“There is a committee of concerned professionals including medical providers, counselors and nutritionists who are all a part of the CSU Health Network who meet on a regular basis to take a more in-depth look at this issue on our campus and serve to help coordinate outreach and prevention efforts for the entire CSU Health Network,” said Janelle Patrias, the coordinator for Mental Health Initiatives at the CSU Health Network, in an email to the Collegian.

To raise awareness, local Beyond the Mirror counselors were on campus Wednesday talking to students about disorders, signs and symptoms, treatment information and engaging students in positive body affirming activities.

“It is an important week to support,” said Jennifer Amaral-Kunze, the program director of Beyond the Mirror. “Our theme this year is ‘Everyone Knows Someone,’ because it is true; everyone does know someone struggling with this. This way students can recognize the signs and support others.”
According to Kerry Duncan, the Beyond the Mirror’s registered dietitian, college students are one of the groups most susceptible to developing disorders.

“Largely this population develops an eating disorder because of how big the transition to college is. It creates an increased risk [for college students],” said Duncan. “However, this is also a good environment for students with eating disorders because it is where friends can help friends recover.”

Though the National Eating Disorder Awareness week is almost over, resources are available year-round for anyone who is or knows someone who is struggling with a disorder. Beyond the Mirror offers community events including workshops, movie nights and support groups.

On campus, resources can be found at the CSU Health Network, which is located in Hartshorn Health Center.

“Students should know that the CSU Health Network has individual and group counseling services available for students struggling with eating disorders and body image,” said Patrias. “Also, nutrition counseling is also a great resource for students available through the CSU Health Network Medical Services.”

Collegian _writer Taylor Pettaway can be reached at news@collegian.com. _

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