Free, Confidential Eating Disorder Screenings Available for Students
To increase awareness and encourage eating disorder treatment, the Drexel University Counseling Center is offering anonymous eating disorder screenings through the CollegeResponse National Eating Disorders Screening Program. The screening event will be held in the Recreation Center Lobby (University City) and the Klahr Lobby (Center City) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27. The educational initiative will coincide with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Feb. 23 to March 1.
The anonymous and confidential screening is designed to help students examine any thoughts or behaviors that may be associated with eating disorders. After completing the self-assessment, students will be able to talk to a mental health professional and receive treatment information through the Drexel Counseling Center, if necessary.
Goals of the National Eating Disorder Screening Program include increasing the dialogue about eating disorders, educating the public on the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, and correcting common misconceptions. Despite popular beliefs, someone suffering from an eating disorder can be of any weight and is often adept at hiding his or her illness.
Some common eating disorder signs and symptoms to watch out for:
· Frequent comments about feeling “fat” or overweight
· In general, behaviors and attitudes indicate that weight loss, dieting and control of food are becoming primary concerns
· Skips meals or takes small portions of food at regular meals
· Hides body with baggy clothes
· Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or lots of wrappers and containers indicating consumption or large amounts of food
· Maintains excessive, rigid exercise regimen, despite weather, fatigue, illness or injury, because of the need to “burn off” calories
· Drinks excessive amounts of water or uses excessive amounts of mouthwash, mints and gum
“Weight and diet obsession can lead to disordered eating habits,” said Scott Sokoloski, PhD, a staff therapist and outreach coordinator for the Counseling Center. “These unhealthy habits can be difficult to recognize but over time can develop into an eating disorder. The majority of individuals struggling with eating disorders are not receiving treatment. The screenings available help direct students to the appropriate care they need.”