Between Feb. 22 and Feb. 28, Preventions Services and Mental Health Ambassadors (MHAs) will be hosting National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDA). NEDA will consist of several online and in-person events meant to raise awareness on various eating disorders and spreading hope for recovery and providing people with a variety of resources to help treat their mental health conditions.
NC State has celebrated NEDA in the past through events such as the NEDA walk and various table events on campus. This year, there will be events throughout the week, providing students with information on eating disorders and body positivity, leading open conversations on how to cope with the mental illness and highlighting other resources available to students and staff.
The NEDA schedule includes:
On Monday, Feb. 22 from 2-2:30 p.m., NC State Dining will host a virtual trivia game on nutrition to help teach students about diets in an interactive way.
On Tuesday, Feb. 23, from 2-3 p.m., Prevention Services will be hosting “Sculpting Your Body Image.” This virtual event will discuss how social media influences people’s body image. A second event, called “Meditation for Mental Health,” runs from 6-7 p.m. and will be co-hosted by the Inner Engineering Association and Engineering Happiness. This virtual event will discuss how to create mental balance and inner peace, which can help students improve their mental health. Both events will require students to register in advance.
On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Prevention Services will host “Quarantine 15,” a live, online, open forum event centered around how COVID-19 has impacted body image. It will also focus on different resources people can use to maintain a healthy body image. The event will begin at 1 p.m and has no set end time. Students and staff are encouraged to submit questions to the panel in advance.
On Thursday, Feb. 25, the MHAs will host “Every-Body Has a Seat At This Table,” at 6 p.m. Hannah Green, a third-year MHA studying psychology and women and gender studies, describes what students and staff can expect from this event.
“We will be discussing culture and body image, and specifically, we’re going to discuss how eating disorders can be present in many different groups of people and many different identities,” Green said. “And we will be also talking about how social media reinforces negative body image, and then we are going to have conversations about how we can practice self-care and promote body positivity.”
Elizabeth Dogbe, a fourth-year MHA studying civil engineering, will be co-hosting the event with Green. They will also be leading another MHA event called “Love Your Mirror,” in which students will write their own affirmations on mirrors. The event logistics have not been finalized yet, according to Dogbe.
While some people have experienced difficulty hosting previous in-person events online, Green said it was easier to host NEDA this way. She said she doesn’t have to worry about renting a room, ordering food, putting up decorations or other responsibilities of hosting an in-person event. Green also said, with the event being online, it is easier for people to participate in NEDA.
Despite potential difficulties with hosting an online event, both Green and Dogbe are excited to host “Every-Body Has a Seat At This Table.”
“As someone who has struggled with body image, I am super excited to be helping with this event and getting out information to students,” Dogbe said. “I want to encourage people to think about the way they treat their bodies and their relationship to food and exercise.”
Students and staff can contact the National Eating Disorder Association at 1-800-931-2237, or use their chat function for help coping with eating disorders
Students can also utilize the services provided by the Counseling Center, which is open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Appointments are required, but the Counseling Center allows walk-ins for certain situations.
For emergencies, students and staff can call the emergency counseling hotline at 919.515.2423.