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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Student Affairs aims to raise visibility, foster community during Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Daily file illustration by Shveta Shah
Events for EDAW aim to decrease stigma.

Content Warning: This story includes mentions of eating disorders and suicide.

Starting Tuesday, the Division of Student Affairs is hosting a series of events ranging from performances to trainings for Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Sponsored by NU Counseling and Psychological Services and NU Health Promotion and Wellness, EDAW follows Body Acceptance Week hosted in October. Previously, BAW and EDAW programming were combined, but this year both weeks were held separately.

“This Is My Brave: The Show” is coming to the McCormick Auditorium at Norris University Center Tuesday night. Presented by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, the show celebrates the stories of 21 individuals’ recovery journeys through song, dance, poem, spoken story and more.

‘Brave’ events are meant to break down the stigma associated with mental illness, Erin Gallagher, executive director of “This Is My Brave,” told The Daily in a statement.  

“I’m here today because storytelling helped save my life,” Jason Wood, ANAD director of community engagement and lead producer of “This Is My Brave: The Show,” said in a news release. “Eating disorders want to isolate you and make you feel all alone. However, it was the stories of others that gave me hope and community during those darkest days.”

CAPS will also hold “Let’s Talk: Eating Disorders Awareness Week” Wednesday at Main Library’s first floor Book Nook. CAPS staff will be available in person and virtually for informal, friendly and confidential drop-in consultations.

Brenna O’Malley will give a virtual presentation Thursday on “Healthy Ways to Talk About Food in College.” O’Malley is a registered dietitian and the owner of The Wellful, a modern health and media company that aims to change the way nutrition, wellness and women’s health are talked about. 

To finish the week, “QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer” will hold a virtual suicide prevention training Friday. QPR aims to teach individuals how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, question someone about potential suicidal thoughts, persuade them to seek help and refer them to appropriate professional services. 

“Eating disorders are important to talk about and learn the signs of what can sometimes be an invisible struggle,” Fallon Weatherspoon, staff therapist and eating concerns coordinator for CAPS, told The Daily in a statement. “Eating Disorders Awareness Week is about bringing a spotlight to healing stories and recovery while supporting those who are dealing with an eating disorder on every step of their journey.” 

Isaiah Steinberg contributed reporting.

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