Statement of The Center’s President and CEO Kelly Trautner on short film, “To A Life Worth Living”
We are so proud of Angelo’s strength and courage in telling his story. His willingness to share his journey to recovery with the world will undoubtedly provide support and inspiration to others suffering from an eating disorder. We cannot wait to see what unfolds for him as he shares his talent with the world.
Eating disorders are a preventable illness that affect all parts of the population. Stories like Angelo’s help to debunk the myth that eating disorders are confined to young women. About 25% of people suffering from an eating disorder are men. The fact is that eating disorders affect people of all genders, races, ethnicities, body shapes, sexual orientations and socioeconomic status.
With treatment, full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Powerful stories of recovery show what a life worth living looks like. While eating disorders are a deadly diseases, the prognosis is good for people who seek treatment. Between 65-75% of people with eating disorders will recover.
Powerful stories of recovery reduce the stigma of eating disorders. Stigmatization involving eating disorders often discourages people from disclosing their need for help. As a brain disease and one of the most deadly mental illnesses, only 1 in 3 people with an eating disorder will receive treatment. Approximately twenty percent of those who don’t receive treatment will die. Reducing stigma of eating disorders removes a significant barrier to treatment.
Challenging stigma through awareness saves lives. Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill. Societal messages about getting “healthy” can often be the beginning of a life threatening illness. And people are often very sick by the time a friend or loved one notices something is amiss. Education about eating disorders will help remove the shame and guilt that often prevent people from seeking help with their eating disorder.
Progress is on the horizon. A bill in the Ohio Senate (S.B. 262) would require public schools annually to provide parents of students in grades five through twelve with educational information regarding eating disorders. This bill and other great work in Ohio shows promise for education, prevention and removing stigma and other barriers to treatment for people with eating disorders.
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The Center for Balanced Living is an internationally recognized provider of cutting edge treatment to people with eating disorders. The only freestanding nonprofit provider of eating disorder treatment in Ohio, The Center is driven by its mission of treatment, research, education and prevention related to eating disorders.