In order to raise awareness and promote healthy body image, the MU Counseling Center is putting on a series of educational events in honor of National Eating Disorders Week. From Feb. 22–25, students, faculty and community members are invited to participate in events that are geared to inform about the prevention, detection and treatment of eating disorders.
The MU Counseling Center is collaborating with the Student Health Center, the Multicultural Center, Residence Halls Association, Student Wellness Advocates, the Women’s Center, the Feminist Student Union and The Mizzou Store to plan this week’s activities.
According to the Eating Disorder Hope website, 25 percent of college-aged women binge or purge to manage their weight and over 50 percent of teenage girls and 33 percent of teenage boys restrict their food intake to lose weight.
On Feb. 22 from 4–6 p.m., the Women’s Center is hosting an “EDAW Edition” of their weekly event, Stitch ‘N Bitch. In addition to the typical knitting that takes place on a normal Stitch ‘N Bitch day, participants will have the opportunity to make friendship bracelets in an effort to promote self-love.
Following Stitch ‘N Bitch, the Women’s Center will be providing a viewing of the Fattitude film and discussion from 6–7:30 p.m., where clips of the movie will be shown and a panel of health care experts will be available for questions and comments.
On Feb. 23, Active Minds Mizzou will be in the Student Center from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. for their event Magic Mirror on the Wall, where people are encouraged to stop by and write body-positive phrases on mirrors.
The Student Health Center will be taking over Feb. 24 with their event, More Than Skin Deep. From 11 a.m.–1 p.m. in the Student Center, participants can play on an 8-foot tall Operation board, removing myths and stereotypes associated with eating disorders. Certified wellness and health coach Margaret Jasinski, psychologist Phoebe Wan and social worker Jennifer Patrick will be at the event to answer questions.
When it comes to eating disorders, many people are not well informed. Pam Roe, spokeswoman for the Student Health Center’s market communications office, hopes this event will help dispel some of the rumors.
“Students need to make sure that what they’re finding is credible information,” Roe said.
After the Student Health Center’s event, the Multicultural Center will be hosting Body Monologues. From 6–7:30 p.m., students are invited to watch acts of music, poetry and spoken word in order to explore and explain body identity.
Throughout the week, the MU Counseling Center also encourages students to post positive messages on bathroom mirrors around campus through Operation Beautiful. They hope these messages will help show people that they are more than just their looks and that everyone is perfect just the way they are.
Each day this week, Loving Kindness Meditation will be taking place at the Newman Center from 12:15–12:45 p.m. This event encompasses the concept of self-compassion.
Both the Mizzou Store and the Women’s Center will be putting together book displays that incorporate different topics relating to body image, eating disorders and recovery.
The MU Counseling Center has a variety of services available to both students with an eating disorder and those who are indirectly impacted. One of these services is an online screening, which helps students determine whether or not they have a disorder and points them in the right direction for assistance.
“No matter where they start, we all work together to make sure that the student is put in the center and put first,” Roe said.
Edited by Waverly Colville | firstname.lastname@example.org