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Filed Under: Educational
Monthly Spotlight March 2023: Project Heal

Monthly Spotlight March 2023: Project Heal

Last week (Feb. 27- March 5th) was National Eating Disorder Awareness Week!  In honor of last week, we chose a spotlight to promote Eating Disorder (ED) awareness called Project Heal. Before we get into the spotlight, I would like to share my own journey with an eating disorder as well as why I think it is important to spread awareness about eating disorders and the barriers that can prevent people from getting the treatment needed. 


In the fall of 2022, I was officially diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder (BED). I knew I always had trouble with the thought of food and the way I approached eating- especially as a way to cope with more recent traumas. I was then admitted into an Intensive Outpatient/ Partial Hospitalization program where I learned how to try to approach eating and thoughts about food non-judgmentally and mindfully as well as how to cope with ED behaviors and triggers. At the time, I thought going to a program like this would be my best bet because I didn’t know where to start and I knew I had a lot to work on. 


Beforehand, my problem was that my insurance (which is actually good) only covers one dietician session per year or around 85% of an outpatient program. Out of pocket, my sessions with my dietician became costly, especially for the amount of work I wanted to do, so I decided my best bet was to start with the program and go from there. Both my current dietician and the therapists at the program have been so helpful, but costs still add up. This is because eating disorders do not have the same recognition towards overall mental health care and traditional therapy- even though eating disorders are included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Which is why the work Project Heal does is so important!


Project Heal is a charitable organization that has a mission to “break down systemic healthcare and financial barriers to eating disorder healing.” I was first introduced to Project Heal from my current dietician who works with them. She is aware of the current financial barriers that I have and that others have so she is working with them to help those who do not have the means financially for support. Project Heal’s services include clinical assessment, insurance navigation, treatment placement, and cash assistance. Their overall vision is for those with eating disorders to have resources and opportunities in order to heal. Project Heal values equality and recognizes that everyone who has an eating disorder deserves treatment regardless of race, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, size, health, ability, and or financial means. Unfortunately, like any mental illness, eating disorders do not discriminate and neither should our health care systems. Just like Project Heal, we at RTW, “believe that every body is valuable, worthy, valid, and deserving of care, respect, and safety.” Join us as we stand with and support Project Heal. And if you or anyone you know needs extra support you can text HEALING to 741741 (Crisis Text Line). Stay tuned for more ED resources, advocacy, and awareness on our blog. 


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