The 2014 NEDAwareness Week runs from February 23rd-March 1st this year. NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) has a yearly initiative to raise awareness of eating disorders, and increasingly uses social media as a tool to do so. The theme of 2014’s week is “I Had No Idea”, focusing on ending on misconceptions surrounding these disorders. The key messages this year are:
- Eating disorders are serious illnesses, not lifestyle choices.
- Education, early intervention, and access to care are critical.
- Help is available, and recovery is possible.
NEDA is asking everyone to do one thing this year to dispel a misconception about eating disorders, with a huge range of ways to get involved, from putting up posters and distributing pamphlets to hosting an info session or serving as a speaker. NEDA also offers infographics and images to post on Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, NEDA is using the hashtag #adiosED to promote awareness on Twitter, and #capturehope on Instagram.
Promoting understanding is one of NEDA’s strongpoints. A variety of articles on the NEDAwareness website is available, with viewpoints from different genders, ages, races and socioeconomic statuses.
I’ve been searching the tags “pro-ana”, “pro-mia”, and “NEDAwareness” on Tumblr for the past few days and have put out a call for submissions about how the site has affected users’ perception of ED’s and if it has influenced their illness at all. Once I compile a good amount of submissions, I will post highlights at the end of NEDAwareness Week.
Whether it be participating in a NEDA Walk, blogging about eating disorders, participating in the Twitter and Instagram campaigns, or raising awareness in your community, everyone can be a part of saving a life. The link below has just several ideas and I encourage you to try one, or come up with your own way to spread awareness and break down misconceptions.