Project HEAL Raises $250,000 for Eating Disorder Treatment Grants

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The Annual Gala, “Fighting for 500” Benefits 30 million Americans Battling Eating Disorders

Founders Liana Rosenman (left) and Kristina Saffran (right)

Together, we will change the conversation around eating disorders, how sufferers receive treatment, and the most effective ways of early prevention.

Project HEAL held its annual “Fighting for 500” gala on Oct. 27, 2016, raising over $250,000. All proceeds will benefit Project HEAL’s grant treatment program, which provides funding for some of the 30 million Americans suffering from eating disorders, but are unable to afford treatment due to lack of insurance coverage. The gala was cohosted by Arianna Huffington and Paraag Marathe, San Francisco 49ers’ Chief Strategy Officer.

Marathe lost his sister to anorexia 11 years ago, and has only spoken on the incident a few number of times. Other notable speakers included:

  • Teddy Teece, a 2015 Yale graduate who battled an eating disorder and substance abuse, fighting the stigma that eating disorders is a woman’s-only disease
  • Caroline Lallis, one of Project HEAL’s 58 grant recipients

Thomas Insel, Director of Clinical Neuroscience at Verily Life Sciences and former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health was honored with the Project HEAL Impact Award for his decades of dedicated service as a mental health researcher, innovator, and advocate. During his speech he discussed reasons behind the move to Verily in Silicon Valley, stating, “Change is not going to come from within the beltway, but from people like Kristina and Liana.”

“We are so grateful to have the support of leading mental health professionals, individuals, and organizations,” says Kristina Saffran, Cofounder of Project HEAL. “Together, we will change the conversation around eating disorders, how sufferers receive treatment, and the most effective ways of early prevention.”

An estimated 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from an eating disorder, but 90 percent will never receive treatment. Inpatient treatment can cost up to $30,000 per day, and is not adequately covered by almost all insurances.

“The journey to recovery is a long, hard and expensive one,” says Liana Rosenman, Cofounder of Project HEAL. “But it is the greatest gift I’ve ever given to myself, and I want to give that gift to others who are suffering.”

About Project HEAL

Project HEAL is the largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the U.S. that raises funds for eating disorder treatment, promotes healthy body image and self-esteem, and inspires sufferers that full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. The cofounders, Liana Rosenman (age 24) and Kristina Saffran (age 24), met after recovering from anorexia at age 15, and founded Project HEAL in 2008. Project HEAL continues to experience rapid growth, with 40 chapters worldwide, a social media reach of over 500,000, engaging sponsors like Arianna Huffington, UBER, and Google, and media attention in top-tier outlets like Refinery29 and PEOPLE.

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Brian Kearney
Project HEAL
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