NEDA Launches Proud2Bme on Campus in Response to Growing Student Need
09/17/2014

Campus Survey Reveals Critical Lack of Services to Help Prevent, Identify & Treat Eating Disorders

Online PR News – 17-September-2014 – New York City – In response to the rising occurrence of eating disorders on college campuses and the ongoing lack of institutional services to help prevent, identify and treat them, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is launching the national initiative, Proud2Bme on Campus, a collegiate version of its online, youth outreach program. Proud2Bme (www.Proud2Bme.org) promotes healthy self-esteem and body confidence, giving young adults the tools to use their voices for personal and social change.

According to NEDA’s recent Collegiate Survey Project, greater funding and resources are much needed on college campuses to educate, screen and treat students struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating issues. The rate of eating disorders among college students has risen to 10 to 20 percent of women and four to10 percent of men. Athletes were identified as a particularly underserved population on campus.

Commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA, “The steady increase in eating disorders on college campuses is alarming and the lack of resources is dangerous. By providing these critical resources, more colleges will be better equipped to take action by providing early intervention and other support on campus … This could be key to a healthy future.”

Eating disorder screenings can be critical in identifying those struggling or at risk. Proud2Bme on Campus offers a free, online screening tool developed by professionals at Screening for Mental Health. Students can take a quick, anonymous, self-assessment survey. After completing the survey, follow-up referrals and support are available by calling NEDA’s helpline.

Sponsored by The Recovery Village – a full continuum of care facility treating eating disorders, substance abuse and mental health issues – Proud2Bme on Campus will offer guides for hosting campus awareness-raising events; toolkits for educators, administrators, athletic coaches and parents; webinar training for resident and peer advisors, led by experts in the eating disorders field; Google Hangouts for students; and more.

Commented Allison Walsh, director of business development and branding, “The Recovery Village is honored to support NEDA’s efforts in addressing the needs of college students across the country. From prevention to advocacy and providing the latest resources, we are excited to help equip collegians with the tools necessary to spread awareness about eating disorders and hopefully encourage those who need support to reach out for help.”

Proud2Bme on Campus has also partnered with professors from New York University and California State University, Northridge to work directly with student advocates who will develop eating disorder early intervention and awareness-raising projects that will be highlighted nationally through Proud2Bme in fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters.

“College students care about eating disorders awareness because they see firsthand how prevalent these illnesses are on their campuses,” said Sara Weekly, MD, instructor of NYU’s Advanced Seminar on Eating Disorders. “With more resources and opportunities to step up, they can be powerful advocates for positive change.”

Commented Professor Bobbie Eisenstock, who teaches a media literacy-driven, service-learning class at California State University, Northridge, “Students talk about how difficult it is not to be affected, even in a small way, by the picture-perfect body ideals and body snarking that is pervasive in our culture. Proud2Bme on Campus is a unique opportunity for college students to help educate, engage and empower their peers with critical thinking strategies to counteract these messages and promote self-acceptance and healthy lifestyle choices.”