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  • Writer's pictureBecca Kirian

Support for Alaskans

Updated: Mar 13

Dear AKEDA Friends,


As I was working with our team on developing this newsletter, the theme of support clearly emerged. At AKEDA, support is part of our core, reflected directly in our mission statement:


The mission of the Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance is to provide help and inspire hope by engaging our diverse communities in education, advocacy, and support for Alaskans affected by eating disorders.”


I’m excited that in 2024 we are not only continuing our existing free support programs like our Family and Friends Support Group, but we are expanding and adding a Providers Consultation Group and Adults Support Group. Personally, as a provider who has spent my entire career as a dietitian often working in rural regions and small teams, I wish I had a space like this to connect with other professionals.


At the first session on March 7th, it was wonderful to see professionals from across the state in a variety of disciplines attend and share their experiences working with eating disorders in Alaska and the excitement to have a place to connect and engage with others in the field. The group was anonymously polled during the session, and 100% of participants requested more frequent groups. Based on this feedback and the generous donation of time by our facilitator, Nicole Santonastaso, AKEDA will now offer these groups monthly on the last Thursday of the month over the lunch hour, 12 pm-1 pm.


Our Adults Support group is also launching at the end of the month, March 25th, from 6 pm-7 pm AKST. This group will be facilitated by Anna Jajewski, a master's level student in the UAA clinical psychology program, with supervision by UAA faculty and AKEDA board member Dr. Jenny Poon Ph.D. Initial survey results showed support is truly needed, with 42% of respondents indicating they have been struggling with eating disorder/disordered eating behavior for 20+ years. We are continuing to build the registration process on our website, so please stay tuned for more information on our website and social media on how to register for this group and share with those that may be interested.


And while I’m so happy AKEDA is able to expand our free support resources, we wouldn’t be able to do that without the support of so many individuals and organizations. Truly, thank you to everyone who has supported AKEDA in the past, present, or is interested in supporting us in the future.


As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at bkirian@akeatingdisordersalliance.org.


Sincerely,









Becca Kirian

Executive Director

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