Student group delivers ‘hope’

 

Campus events recognize Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Feb. 26, 2014

by Samantha Phillips

 

“I am good enough” is the phrase Helping Others Through Peer Education (HOPE) wants to spread during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week through their photo contest, along with other events.

The awareness week is from Feb. 23 to March 3, but UW-W events to celebrate the week began early.

On Feb. 17 and 18, HOPE organized a photo booth called, “I am good enough.” Students came into the photo booth with a board that says “I am good enough,” and choose something they like about themselves to write in after the phrase.

Wellness AOD Educator Amanda Krentz said she thinks this activity is a great way for students reflect on themselves.

“They should have confidence in themselves and stay true to who they are,” Krentz said.

HOPE member Jade Pekol said she thinks the photo booth is a positive way to raise awareness.

“It actually gets people to say what they like about themselves,” Pekol said. “No one ever really asks, “‘What do you love about yourself?’”

The pictures from the photo booth have been shared on Facebook and will be posted in the University Center during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

There are multiple other events and speakers taking place during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. On Feb. 25, guest speaker Gwen Hering talked about her personal struggle with an eating disorder.

Also on Feb. 25 was a Media and Body Image workshop taking place in The Fern Young Terrace.

There are still more events to participate in.

On Wed., Feb. 26, there will be a workshop dealing with Art and Media from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Fern Young Terrace.

Krentz said she thinks these events are important to students because they help students become aware of what an eating disorder really is.

“You’re not alone if you’re struggling with an eating disorder,” Krentz said. “There are resources on campus, and these events really help students become aware of those.”

Pekol said she thinks recognizing Eating Disorder Awareness Week will help people become more sympathetic.

“I think that knowing facts will help you relate more,” Pekol said. “It makes you more empathetic when you learn what someone is going through.”

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is important for people who may have a friend or relative who struggles with an eating disorder and seeks help.

Krentz and Pekol suggest staying supportive and guiding them to resources that can help them overcome their eating disorder.

Pekol said she wants everyone to know raising awareness on this issue will make others more willing to talk about eating disorders.

“People should be able to feel comfortable to voice themselves when they need help,” Pekol said. “And most importantly, know that there is help.”

Krentz said anyone seeking help can call the University Health & Counseling Services to make an appointment with a counselor. The number to call is 262-472-1305.

Other students wanting to get involved in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week should participate in any of the on-campus events sponsored by HOPE.

For more information visit HOPE’s Facebook page at, www.facebook.com/HOPE.UW.Whitewater.

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