The Academy of Eating Disorders shares regarding the goal of this day of advocacy: “Through Internet and regional activities, World Eating Disorders Action Day will advance the understanding of eating disorders as treatable genetically-linked illnesses that affect a large cross-section of the world’s population, embrace diversity and raise awareness amongst policy makers to allocate resources and establish coherent national systems.”
World Eating Disorder Action Day is not at all a day just for those who are in recovery. If you know and love someone who has struggled with an eating disorder—if you have a friend or family member who has been in recovery—then this is as much your day as anyone’s. It’s a great time to share your story and do your part to create conversation.
It is also a day to help raise awareness and getting the information out there for those who may little to nothing about eating disorders. Many still find themselves faced with the stigmas associated with these disorders and therefore do not seek the treatment that they need.
Raising Awareness as a Recovery Ally
When it comes to raising awareness for eating disorders and treatment, there is no shortage of steps that you can take as a recovery ally. The hardest part may be deciding exactly how you will take action.
Here are a few options to consider:
Educate yourself. Start by studying up. Make sure you know everything there is to know about eating disorders and the recovery process. Be prepared to offer well-informed opinions when the topic of eating disorders arises. Do not just stop at educating yourself, either—educate others by sharing helpful articles on social media. The Castlewood blog is a good place to start.
Share your story. You may not have a story of being in eating disorder recovery yourself—but maybe you do have a story of helping your friend or loved one through the recovery process. Share some insights from that, either in conversation or on social media. Be discreet and sensitive, of course, but also open and honest. You never know when someone else is traveling down a road that you have already traveled.
Break past the stigma. If and when you hear people spreading false information about eating disorders, be gentle but forceful in correcting them. Do not allow stigma to keep this conversation ill-informed and shadowy. Promote knowledge and openness.
Be a recovery advocate. More than anything else, be willing to speak up about the virtues of recovery. Let people know that there is always hope available for those struggling with an eating disorder. The first step is seeking care from a treatment center such as Castlewood. If you know anyone who is struggling with an eating disorder even now, let that person know that you will love, support, and encourage them through their recovery journey.
In these ways, you can honor those who have struggled with an eating disorder—and you can provide a message of hope to those who are struggling with one still.
How will you take action to promote recovery? Tell us!