On the evening of February 24, 2016, a session hosted by campus mental health organization Active Mind on eating disorders, was attended by approximately 20 people at the Michigan Union. The session was among the six events held by the organization in association with Project Heal, which is a non-profitable organization set up to offer treatment scholarships to those suffering from eating disorders during the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
The significance of involvement was revealed at the event by a program social worker, Kate Fawcett, who is also a therapist at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program. A majority of people having eating disorders are either not willing to recognize it or not accept the fact that they are suffering from it. She added that if their friends get to know about the disorder, they must offer help to them.
Fawcett urged the students to admit and take action if they discover any warning signals, like a person becoming isolated and avoiding food-related events, along with having irregular meals or developing unhealthy habits.
Recent U-SHAPE survey outcomes were also released at the event. The survey covered the eating disorders prevailing at the University. The survey revealed that about 27.8% and 11.8% female and male undergraduates respectively suffer from an eating disorder. The number was 21.3% and 10.3% for females and males respectively at graduation level. The level of treatment was found to be extremely low. Out of all the students, who were found to have an eating order, 82% of females and 96% of males refused to undergo treatment.
Anyone can be affected by an eating disorder, irrespective of gender and age, according to Stephanie Koenig, leader and founder of Project Heal southeast Michigan’s chapter. She added that the trend can be modified since now people have improved accessibility to treatment. However, people do not want to undergo treatment due to the disgrace and shame associated with this disorder, in addition to the cultural factors.