OUR ALLIANCE AT A GLANCE
Who is the Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance? We are a coalition of individuals, families and friends, medical and mental health care providers, educators and others who are dedicated to helping Alaskans address and overcome eating disorders. We do this through education, support, advocacy and promotion of body confidence.
Our activities include Family and Friends Support Groups, Community Education, and Provider Professional Development Courses, Body Confidence programs, and Advocacy on eating-disorder issues and funding. A counselor-led eating disorder support group for adults is planned for winter 2021.
ADDRESSING A CRITICAL HEALTH CHALLENGE IN ALASKA
Eating disorders are wildly misunderstood, complex psychological, biological and social illnesses that pose serious health and physical risks to individuals. Help for those who are struggling with this brain-based disorder in Alaska are extremely minimal, with a limited network of health care providers to identify and treat eating disorders or provide support and information to families and friends. As a result, individuals and members of their support network often struggle with isolation, despair, and serious health risks.
Given the fact that 9% of individuals struggle with an eating disorder and that eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of any mental illness second only to opioid addiction, eating disorders are an unidentified public health crisis in our state. While there are grave risks for individuals, research shows that early intervention provides the best opportunity for recovery and can prevent serious long-term psychological and health risks.