To start out, I wanted to outline my goals for my public issue so I can stay on track with my project.
1. Raise public awareness.
One of the biggest issues with eating disorders is that most people don’t understand them (although they may think they do) and this hinders peoples advancement towards treatment and recovery. We as a society have a duty to educate ourselves on prominent mental health issues such as eating disorders so we can handle them in the most effective way possible.
2. Prompt people to get help.
This sort of goes in accordance with my first goal as it deals with educating people about symptoms of eating disorders and methods of treatment. In my interviews I asked two former sufferers of anorexia and bulimia what the hardest part was about overcoming an eating disorder. They both had the same answer: realizing you have a problem. This has been said time and time again by alcoholics and drug addicts alike and it rings true for eating disorders as well. Presenting people with the right information to prompt the realization that they may have a life-threatening disorder, is a major part of getting people recovered and saving lives.
3. Gaining greater recognition from the government.
Another obstacle in the fight against eating disorders is insufficient recognition and funding from government. Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. It is crucial that our government recognizes the gravity of this disease and start to provide adequate funding.Bills such as the FREED (Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders) Act would:
- Expand research into prevention and treatment of eating disorders
- Improve the training and education of health care providers and educators on eating disorders
- Improve national monitoring and data collection on the prevalence of eating disorders
- Take steps to prevent eating disorders by developing evidence-based prevention programs
- Provide additional avenues for effective and affordable treatment of eating disorders