Active Minds, Counseling Center host events for Eating Disorder Awareness Week


In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, according to the National Eating Disorder Association.

Active Minds and the Counseling Center will be promoting awareness of these disorders during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

“Eating disorders are rampant in today’s society, with around 30 million people being affected by one within their lifetime,” said Active Minds Officer Rebecca Scott. “Eating disorders have been found to have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, which makes them something to be very conscious of.”

Ellen Lucas, associate director of the Counseling Center, said all students should get involved in National Eating Disorder Week because these disorders affect everyone.

“These disorders are something that affects everyone, even if it’s not you. It can hurt friends and families and destroy relationships,” Lucas said. “I want people to know the realities of this issue, that there are ways to receive [help] or to help other people ... who may be struggling. Education and awareness is the first step.”

Here are Active Minds’ and the Counseling Center’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week of Events:

Eating Disorder Screenings (Counseling Center)

What to expect:

Free eating disorder screenings will be provided to students Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Free T-shirts will be handed out with each screening while supplies last.

Journey to Hope (Active Minds)

What to expect:

Participants will learn about depression and suicide with the Student Action Team as well as have chances to receive free giveaways throughout the night.

“The idea of Journey to Hope is to show that mental illness exists with eating disorders,” Scott said. “Many times, those with mental health issues feel isolated and it can be empowering and comforting to them to see that they are not the only one that struggles with this. It can also be wonderfully instructional to those students who have not experienced mental illness because they can see that yes, it exists, and mental illness is a problem.”

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday in Park Hall Multipurpose Room

Get in Shape: Learn how to make exercise fun and develop a workout routine (Counseling Center)

What to expect:

Students will have the chance to join Marsha Cohen, a Counseling Center doctoral intern, for an interactive session on incorporating healthy exercise into your routine with topics including realistic exercise goals, creating motivation and developing a work out program.

When: 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center Pineshelf Room

Operation Beautiful (Active Minds)

What to expect:

Help Active Minds spread body positivity and inspirational messages with Post-it notes. Spread your Post-it notes around campus to promote positivity.

When: Thursday, all day event across campus

Get Healthy Eats at BSU and Beyond (Counseling Center)

What to expect:

Join Amanda Kruse, wellness nutritionist, for an interactive session on the basics of healthy eating in the dining halls and at your dinner table. Participants will learn the facts on fad diets and how to customize healthy meal plans to meet your individual nutrition needs.

When: 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday in the Student Center Room 301

#LoveYourSelfie (Active Minds)

What to expect:

Take a selfie and post it it to social media with the hashtag #LoveYourSelfie.

“[Operation Beautiful and #LoveYourSelfie] will give students a reason to smile throughout their day, and maybe help make them aware of the negative self talk that sometimes is at the back of their minds,” Scott said.

When: Friday, all day event

Get a Cultural Perspective on Eating Disorders (Counseling Center)

What to expect:

Join Molly Beagle for a discussion about the role of media and culture in the development and maintenance of eating disorders. The discussion will include information about the prevalence of eating disorders across racial/ethnic groups, as well as cultural differences with regard to perceptions of weight and body image.

When: 5 to 6 p.m. Friday in the Student Center Pineshelf Room

Body Positivity (Active Minds)

What to expect:

Go to the Student Center to write what you like about yourself on a life-sized cut-out.

“This event just goes along with the theme of not looking at physical beauty only,” Scott said. “Once a person can identify things they like about themselves, like 'I have a good sense of humor,' they will start to have a more positive view of themselves and others.”

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Student Center

Get Help: Letting go of an eating disorder and holding onto myself (Counseling Center)

What to expect:

Ellen Lucas, associate director of the Counseling Center, will discuss the recovery process for people with eating disorders as well as give tips for families and friends of how to support and care for someone with an eating disorder. The event will also feature a Ball State student who will share her personal journey of recovering from an eating disorder.

When: 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday in the Student Center Pineshelf Room

Sign a pledge (Active Minds)

What to expect:

End the week by signing a pledge for body positivity.

“Students will be pledging to love their body the way it is, to question the societal standards that tell them to look a certain way, and to care for their body, physically and mentally,” Scott said.

When: 1:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the Student Center


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