Center for Hope Eating Disorder Treatment Program Kicks Off Eating Disorders Awareness Week with "America the Beautiful" Event

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Leading eating disorder treatment program Center for Hope of the Sierras is co-sponsoring an event on Friday, Feb. 20, 2009, designed to raise awareness about eating disorders and offer hope to the millions of Americans suffering from these life-threatening diseases.

Issues around body image and societal messages commonly factor into the development of eating disorders that put people's lives at risk

Low self-esteem, body dismorphia, and eating disorders in young men and women are on the rise in the U.S. The "thin is in" message conveyed by glossy, air-brushed magazine pages on supermarket shelves and the exaltation of unattainable ideals of beauty are at least partially to blame for the unhealthy focus many people place on their bodies.

Center for Hope of the Sierras, a renowned eating disorder treatment program for women ages 16 and up, will explore the high price of our nation's obsession with youth, beauty, and a super-thin physique on Friday, Feb. 20, 2009, at its "America the Beautiful" event in Reno, Nevada.

At Center for Hope, women participate in residential treatment or a partial hospitalization program for the treatment of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and related disorders. Through individual, group, and family therapies addressing body awareness and body image, self-acceptance, stress management, mindful eating, and other important recovery topics, eating disorder sufferers learn how to care for and respect themselves.

Eating disorders are one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses in young women, and they are also the most fatal. "Issues around body image and societal messages commonly factor into the development of eating disorders that put people's lives at risk," says Maria Elizabeth Dias, the Professional Relations Coordinator at Center for Hope. "This event marks one small step in a larger effort to combat the false image many of us have of the ideal woman."

The event, which will kick off Eating Disorders Awareness Week, will begin with a VIP reception and a "meet and greet" with producer and filmmaker Darryl Roberts. Attendees of the event will screen a powerful documentary, titled "America the Beautiful," which follows Roberts on a two-year journey to examine America's obsession with physical perfection.

In interviews with Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Anthony Kedis, Julianne Moore, Mena Suvari, Martin Short, the Editor-in-Chief of CosmoGirl!, along with everyday Americans and various experts in cosmetics, fashion, media, and self-esteem, Roberts seeks to answer the question: Does America have an unhealthy obsession with beauty?

Heralded as "a film that might rescue the lives of some girls ages 12 and up" by film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, the staff at Center for Hope believes the film delivers a compelling message that millions of people need to hear. According to Dias, Center for Hope and its co-sponsors - University of Nevada, Reno, and Montecatini, a pioneer in the treatment of eating disorders located in San Diego, Calif. - anticipate an impressive turnout at the Feb. 20 film viewing event.

"Our hope is that this event will improve awareness about the seriousness of eating disorders and serve as a wake-up call for local and nationwide communities to take action to protect and treat the millions of women suffering from bulimia, anorexia, binge eating disorder, and other disordered eating patterns," says Dias.

After the screening, attendees will have the opportunity to direct questions to a panel of eating disorders experts, including filmmaker Darryl Roberts; Julie Holland, Vice President of Business Development for CRC Health Group's eating disorders division; Dr. Cheryl Hug-English, M.D. M.P.H, Medical Director for the University of Nevada, Reno Student Health Center; Rhonda Kildea, M.A., M.F.T., C.E.D.S., a well-known eating disorders specialist; and Leah Leonard, Ph.D., Clinical Director at Center for Hope.

"When it comes to eating disorder treatment, we've got the best of the best at Center for Hope," says Dias. "The majority of our clinical staff has been with us since the program's inception and are well-versed experts in what they do. Anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder, who knows someone suffering from an eating disorder, or who cares about the treatment of eating disorders will find this event both eye-opening and deeply inspiring."

For more information about the "America the Beautiful" event, or to learn more about other upcoming Center for Hope events, contact Maria Elizabeth Dias, PR Coordinator at Center for Hope of the Sierras, at

Centrally located in Reno, Nevada, Center for Hope of the Sierras offers residential treatment and Partial Hospital Program (PHP) levels of care for the treatment of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and related disorders. In two large, yet cozy Victorian-Country style neighboring homes, patients receive highly individualized care from a team of licensed clinicians, registered nurses, a dietician, chef, psychiatrist, and physician who specialize in treating eating disorder sufferers with compassion, dignity, and a commitment to each person's unique healing process.

Center for Hope of the Sierras is a proud member of CRC Health Group, which offers the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral healthcare services in the nation. With the largest array of personalized treatment options, individuals, families, and professionals can choose the most appropriate setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management, and therapeutic education needs. CRC Health Group is deeply committed to making its services widely and easily available to those in need, while maintaining a passion for delivering the most advanced treatment available.

For more information about Center for Hope of the Sierras, visit or call (866) 690-7242. For more information about CRC Health Group, visit or call (877) 637-6237.


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