Local Organizations Come Together to Promote Awareness for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

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Local organizations are coming together February 28th to raise awareness for National Eating Disorder Awareness week. The event is themed “YOUniquely Beautiful – Because the only one who can define beauty is YOU.”

The Healing Group (THG), Beauty Redefined, Utah Art Therapy Association and the Urban Arts Gallery are coming together February 28th to raise awareness for National Eating Disorder Awareness week. The event is themed “YOUniquely Beautiful – Because the only one who can define beauty is YOU.” The aim of NEDAwareness Week is to ultimately increase outreach and awareness of eating disorders and body image issues, while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment resources. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses - not choices - and it's important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder. While there is hope and recovery is possible – particularly with early intervention – many people suffer from the long-term effects of these illnesses. And many people (including doctors) just don’t recognize the signs!

“We live in a different world today where we are exposed to over 5000 media messages in a day. These unrealistic images and negative messages take a toll on a positive self-esteem and a healthy self-image and can lead to toxic eating and exercise practices.” said Kristin B. Hodson, MSW and LCSW, founder and executive director of The Healing Group. “Statistically speaking, 35% of people engaging in "normal" dieting will progress to pathological dieting. Our hope is to send a message that we are ALL YOUniquely beautiful and to reach those who are in need of greater support and services.”

The organizations will be working together to create a variety of booths and art to educate, inspire and grab people’s attention. The booths will include a life size Barbie made from paper mache’ visually showing the unrealistic media messages we are bombarded with, a YOUniquely Beautiful photo booth where participants get a polaroid picture taken while holding their body positive affirmation, a “post secret” table where they can anonymously share a time where they felt out of control or alone and hang it on the community connections clothing line, get information how to help a friend and take an anonymous screening themselves.

The event will be held February 28th, 2014 at The Urban Arts Gallery at the Gateway Plaza in Salt Lake City, Utah from 3:30-8:30 pm. Leading up to the event, The Healing Group will be hosting a virtual “spirit week” on their website (http://www.thehealinggroup.com) and on twitter (@thehealinggroup) to reach as many people as possible. To close the awareness week, PhD sisters, Lexie and Lindsay Kite, (creators of http://www.BeautyRedefined) will be giving a free lecture at the Salt Lake City library March 6th at 7:00pm.

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Kristin Hodson
The Healing Group
801-808-0636
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