National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Feb 23 – March 1
MyBodyScreening.org Helps Identify Eating Disorders
Anonymous Online Self-Assessment Serves as Critical First Step Toward Treatment and Recovery
WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass. –Screening for Mental Health, Inc. (SMH), the premier provider of mental health screening programs, is partnering with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to provide www.MyBodyScreening.org, a website where individuals can take a free, anonymous self-assessment to gauge their risk of an eating disorder. The launch comes as NEDA gears up for its 27th National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness Week). This annual campaign, held February 23 – March 1 in communities across the country, draws public attention to the critical needs of people with eating disorders. SMH's online screenings are a vital first step, linking those in need to quality treatment options.
Studies indicate 35% of normal dieters progress to pathological dieting, 20 - 30% of pathological dieters progress to partial syndrome eating disorders, and approximately 15% progress to full syndrome eating disorders. Even though only some dieters develop eating disorders, many others seriously suffer physically and psychologically from dieting.
“We know that messages from the media can contribute to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating,” said Douglas G. Jacobs, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the president and medical director of Screening for Mental Health, Inc. “While eating disorders can often begin as a preoccupation with food and weight, they can quickly develop into serious mental illnesses that often co-occur with depression and anxiety. Although these are serious and sometimes deadly illnesses, it is important to remember that eating disorders are treatable. Taking a screening can help identify an eating disorder which can translate to saved lives."
Online self-assessments help distinguish healthy behaviors from disordered eating. A screening consists of a series of questions designed to indicate whether symptoms of an eating disorder are present and if clinical help is needed. After completing a screening, participants receive immediate feedback and referral information for local agencies that offer further evaluation and treatment. Screenings will be available at more than 500 colleges and 70 community-based organizations across the country. Anyone unable to locate a screening in their area can take a general online screening sponsored by NEDA.
During NEDAwareness Week 2013, nearly 13,000 individuals completed an eating disorder screening at various locations across the country and online. Of those, 75 percent scored positive for symptoms consistent with an eating disorder. Visit www.MyBodyScreening.org to locate a participating organization in your area.
About SMH & NEDA
Screening for Mental Health, Inc. (SMH) is the nonprofit organization that first introduced the concept of large-scale mental health screenings with its flagship program, National Depression Screening Day, in 1991. SMH programs include both in-person and online programs for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, alcohol problems, and suicide prevention. SMH programs have been used by hospitals, mental health centers, social service agencies, government agencies, older adult facilities, primary care clinicians, colleges, secondary schools, corporations and military installations reaching individuals ranging from adolescents to older adults. For more information, visit www.MentalHealthScreening.org
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in New York City, is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders. For more information, visit www.MyNEDA.org