Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week (BIEDAW) is a national week to raise awareness of body image concerns and eating disorders, celebrated annually in the first full week of September (4-10 September 2023).
This BIEDAW, Butterfly will be joining our Eating Disorder Alliance Australia colleagues to raise awareness and encourage people to take action, big or small, to support the 1 million Australians living with an eating disorder and those impacted by body image concerns.
With body image concerns, depression, anxiety and eating disorder symptoms increasing by more than 50% during the pandemic, resulting in a massive increase in demand for services, there has never been a more important time to act, raise awareness and advocate for accessible treatment and support for these serious, complex and potentially life-threatening mental illnesses.
Our Body Kind Youth Survey also revealed that over 90% of young people in Australia report some level of body image concern. Having a positive body image is a known protective factor against eating disorders, so we need to ensure all young people across Australia are provided with the resilience, knowledge and resources to feel confident in their body.
This year’s theme ‘The Time is Now’ also draws upon the launch of the National Eating Disorders Strategy 2023-2033 to encourage everyone with an interest in eating disorders – government, organisations, services and individuals – to continue building the system of care and improve the lives of people living with eating disorders.
From personal actions, like taking the next step in your recovery or sharing your lived experience, to educating yourself about how to best support a loved ones, to collective action, like promoting positive body image in schools or putting pressure on government to implement eating disorder strategies, there are a multitude of ways to take action and raise awareness for eating disorders and body image concerns this September.
“We need businesses, schools, services and professionals to undertake relevant training in eating disorders, highlighting how to identify them, gain a deeper understanding on the different types, where to reach out for appropriate support, how to increase help-seeking and to learn the appropriate terminology and language.” – Chey, Member of Butterfly’s Lived Experience Network, the Butterfly Collective.
“In an ideal world, I would love for society to de-stigmatise eating disorders. This includes far more affirming and conscious language when speaking about eating disorders and body image when hearing from medical professionals and mental health services.” – Matilda, Member of Butterfly’s Lived Experience Network, the Butterfly Collective.
Finding ways to like, accept, love or even feel positive about your body can be challenging in the world we live in today, but we can all try to be a little kinder.
Being Body Kind is how we nourish, nurture and move our bodies. It’s about the language we use out loud, online and in our heads – to ourselves and others.
This September, join Butterfly’s free annual awareness initiative, Body Kind, to encourage everyone in Australia to be kind to their own body and to others; face to face and online. You will receive practical, evidence-informed tips, activities and webinars.
Keep your eyes on our social media channels, where across the week will be showcasing Lived Experience and expert insights, quotes and information about why The Time is Now to Act for Eating Disorders and Body Image Concerns.
Donate to Butterfly, so we can continue supporting those living with eating disorders and body image concerns.
Helping our teens to eat well can sometimes feel challenging and complicated in a culture where there is so much confusing information about food, eating and diets. Butterfly, as part of our Body Kind Families initiative, is teaming up with Accredited Practicing Dietitians Meg McClintock and Susan Williams to offer guidance and practical strategies on helping your teen towards a balanced and healthy relationship with food.
This FREE professional development session focuses on creating a positive, inclusive, Body Kind school environment to support young people’s body image. Designed for ALL staff and educators in Australia, it explores how by challenging some of the strong cultural beliefs around eating, weight and health we can better support young people, ourselves and the people around us.
If you or your loved one is experiencing a body image concern or eating disorder, contact the Butterfly National Helpline
1800 33 4673 | via webchat |email firstname.lastname@example.org