Starting the Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance was motivated by personal experience. Jenny Loudon, AKEDA Co-Founder, and I both know first-hand the devastation of an eating disorder by being survivors (we each had an eating disorder as a teen) and by helping others navigate this frightening journey.
Like all brain-based disorders and addictions, eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders, are often filled with stigma and shame, and getting help can seem lonely and overwhelming. In Alaska, there are few resources, making it even more difficult for individuals, families and partners who need help. We know that eating disorders affect all ages, genders, ethnicities, socio-economic groups, shapes, sizes and geographic regions. We also know that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. On the positive side, we know that full recovery is possible.
To address a hidden mental health crisis in Alaska, Jenny and I worked together to launch this new nonprofit, recruit an amazing board, and begin to provide information and resources through our website and public outreach.
Our goal is also to promote body positivity, and to help educate young people about resiliency and standing up to body shaming.
We hope the Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance resources will be helpful to others and save lives. If you, or someone you know, needs help please don’t hesitate to reach out. And if you want to get involved, let us know!