By: Cheryl Kaine, Zag Dining
On campuses across the country, 25% of students struggle with an eating disorder. This complex illness comes with its share of stigmas. A lack of education about eating disorders has led to the creation of Eating Disorder Awareness Week (2/23-3/1).
As part of our mission to help students develop healthy life skills, we at Zag Dining aim to erase the stereotypes of eating disorders. These stereotypes allude to eating disorders as being a discriminatory disease. The truth is there is no discrimination based on race, culture or gender. No matter who is affected, Zag Dining wants to support their victory over the illness.
The first step to victory is recognition and treatment. A 2010 survey by the Eating Disorders Recovery Center revealed the countless reasons why students would not seek treatment:
– 82% Unwilling to seek treatment
– 48% Unaware of eating disorder
– 34% Lack of awareness of treatment resources
– 28% Embarrassed to seek treatment
– 28% Lack of treatment resources
Zag Dining is here to help. We want to break the stigmas, encourage discussions and offer resources to Gonzaga students. Students can be the best advocates for each other, and we want to make sure students and families know what local resources are available.
Gonzaga’s Center for Cura Personalis can guide students to the appropriate resource. They recommend a variety of options for students who may be struggling with disordered eating behaviors:
- Gonzaga Counseling Center, for both counseling and psychiatric care, located at 324 E Sharp, (509)313-4054.
- Student Health Center, 704 E Sharp, (509)313-4066.
- Disability Resources, Education & Access Management (DREAM), Foley 203, (509)313-4134.
Spokane is also home to The Emily Program, which offers all levels of treatment for male, female, or transgender adolescents and adults through expert medical care teams, a personalized approach, research-based treatment and a full continuum of care. Learn more about the Emily Program at emilyprogram.com or call them at (509)252-1366.
Food is a powerful force, providing nurturing and cultural connections, as well as influencing our emotions and health throughout life. For those who struggle, or recognize the struggle in others, there is hope right here in our Gonzaga Community. With inclusive communication and awareness, we might just save someone’s life.
For more information, go to www.nedawareness.org.