Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

The Importance of the Anna Westin Act

Some 30 million Americans struggle with eating disorders—yet in many ways, there remains a big deficit in treatment and care opportunities. While we certainly try to do our part here at Castlewood, the truth is that many healthcare providers and school officials are unsure of what to do when they encounter someone with an eating disorder. A pending piece of legislation is seeking to change that, though. The bill in question is called the Anna Westin Act of 2015, and its mission is simple: The Anna Westin Act seeks to provide healthcare providers and school officials with training, instructing them on how to identify those with eating disorders and intervene on their behalf. The bill is named for a young woman who struggled with anorexia throughout her teen years. Tragically, she died in 2000, committing suicide as a direct result of her eating disorder struggle. The legislation was introduced to the House of Representatives last year, and later to the Senate. In both instances, it received bipartisan sponsorship. There are many reasons why this legislation is important, not least the fact that it is already drawing attention and awareness to this important topic. One particular hope is that it will make it easier for individuals to receive insurance coverage for their eating disorder recovery—something that is sadly hard to come by, as it is. Ultimately, though, The Hill makes the best case for the significance of this legislation: “The Anna Westin Act of 2015 matters because Anna Westin matters, and because each person struggling with an eating disorder matters.” Indeed. Show your support for this legislation by contacting your elected officials in the Senate, and let them know that you want to see this bill passed—and a big step made in eating disorder recovery. Will you support this bill? Make your voice heard!