People with lived experience invited to #ShareYourStory this World Eating Disorders Action Day on 2 June
Eating Disorder Alliance of Australia (EDAA), representing the voice of lived experience for eating disorders across Australia, invites people to Share Your Story.
This year’s World Eating Disorders Action Day (WEDAD) asks people with lived experience to #ShareYourStory. WEDAD is a grassroots movement designed by and for people affected by an eating disorder, their families and carers, and the medical and health professionals who support them.
“We know that story sharing can be a tool to recovery for mental health conditions, including eating disorders,” said Butterfly CEO, Kevin Barrow. “There is a growing body of research to support that contact-based interventions are a superior method of reducing stigma and promoting help-seeking behaviour in youth populations, comparative to education only initiatives[i].”
“During this years’ WEDAD, we want to intensify our advocacy for additional and ongoing support for this particularly vulnerable group,” said Belinda Chelius, General Manager of Eating Disorders Queensland (EDQ). “Especially now, during COVID-19, we are very concerned about access to food and the added stressors for both those living with an eating disorder and their key support systems.”
“Through collective action, robust policy and community awareness, we can all help reduce the impact of eating disorders in the community,” said Belinda Caldwell, CEO of Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV). “WEDAD is an important opportunity to extend the conversation and help to break down the stigma.”
Activities for WEDAD
Eating Disorders Queensland (EDQ) will host live streams on Instagram each day from 1 June to 5 June, offering a platform for discussion in line with the #ShareYourStory theme.
Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) is hosting its 9th year of Feed the Soul, this year via a webinar. Feed the Soul provides a platform to share the lived experience of eating disorders with key decision makers and stakeholders, and to share the work that EDV and other services are currently doing to support Victorians affected by eating disorders.
Feed the Soul will take place on June 2nd 2020 at 3pm online via Zoom. This year’s event also coincides with World Eating Disorder Action Day. Panellists are encouraged to wear something PURPLE in honour of the day.
Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA) is running an educational event via Zoom entitled ‘Walking on Eggshells’ with eating disorders educator, Jan Clarke, on Tuesday evening June 2nd at 8pm. Attendees are invited to wear something purple in honour of WEDAD 2020. EDFA has also created a music video made by carers and sufferers with eating disorders singing ‘You Will Be Found’ to mark the occasion.
More information is available on the World Eating Disorders Action Day website.
About eating disorders
Eating disorders are complex and long-lasting, and have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. At any one time, approximately 4% of the Australian population, or more than one million people, is suffering from an eating disorder. These complex mental illnesses have additional physical complications, and are attributed to risk factors such as genetic vulnerability, psychological issues and socio-cultural influences.
The Eating Disorder Alliance of Australia (EDAA) is a collaborative group, comprising Butterfly Foundation (Butterfly), Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV), Eating Disorders Queensland (EDQ), Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA), and Bridges Eating Disorders Association of Western Australia (Bridges), working cooperatively to support the provision of information, initiatives and advocacy for family members and other carers, as well as those living with eating disorders in Australia. These organisations additionally work with Australia & New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders (ANZAED) to support health care professionals working in the eating disorders sector.
Alex Cowen, Communications Manager, 0497 008 716
[i] Chen, Koller, Krupa, Stuart, 2016