Region – To increase awareness and encourage eating disorder treatment, Mass 211, a direct service of the United Way of Tri-County, is offering anonymous online eating disorder screenings through the CommunityResponse? National Eating Disorders Screening Program?. The educational initiative will coincide with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAW) February 24 to March 2.
The eating disorder screening consists of a brief online questionnaire designed to provide the public with insight into symptoms they might be experiencing and offers helpful treatment and referral information, if necessary. Individuals can take an online screening at http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening/mass211.
Kristin Tyman, the executive director of the Multi-service Eating Disorders Association, commented on the program.
“The Community Response National Eating Disorders Screening Program offered by MASS 211, is an amazing, easily accessible resource for the community. Eating disorders are often under-detected and clients themselves sometimes do not even recognize they might need help.? There are many treatment options available in Massachusetts to help individuals and their loved ones receive support. With early intervention, we know that recovery is possible,” she said.
According to Mass 211 officials, eating disorders are more prevalent than many people realize. 95 percent of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25. Increasingly, men are feeling the pressure for physical perfection which can lead to excessive exercise and fixation on low body fat percentage.
In the United States, as many as 20 million females and 10 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder, officials said. Almost 50 percent of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and one out of three normal dieters progress to pathological dieting.