The week of February 22-26 at UVM was full of education, advocacy, healing, and hope: Active Minds worked in conjunction with Health Promotions to promote National Eating Disorder Awareness Week on campus.
We kicked things off Monday evening with a candlelight vigil. Participants came and decorated white paper bags with names of people they knew that were either suffering from, fell victim to, or living a lifestyle of recovery from an eating disorder. We lit candles in the bags and watched the messages of hope light the walkway outside of the Marche. From there we attended a panel discussion featuring a psychologist from UVM’s Counseling Center, a nutritionist in the community, a therapist from the community, and four brave students who are recovering from an eating disorder. We discussed the difficulties and benefits of recovering in a college setting and talked about what resources are available to students.
Wednesday evening, despite the snowfall, students attended our screening of Darryl Roberts’s provocative documentary “America the Beautiful.” Following the film, we discussed the damaging impact the media has on society and how we, as students, can combat the misguidance of the photoshopped, airbrushed, and digitally enhanced images bombarding the America. Many students left that evening expressing how motivated and inspired they were to become more active in criticizing the media’s false portrayal of beauty.
Thursday evening featured our final event. In Brennan’s, students made prayer flags portraying health, self-love, and recovery in a celebration of life. National Eating Disorder Awareness week at UVM was a huge success and we aim to continue educating the campus about the dangers of disordered eating.