World Eating Disorder Action Day
Inaugural Event: June 2, 2016
The administrative team and many members of International Eating Disorder Action are both relative newcomers to the field of eating disorder advocacy and possessed of can-do spirit. When we realized there was no globally recognized day for eating disorders, it felt like a project in need of piloting. We also thought such a day could provide a space and venue to work together on vital areas of need in the ED world for which there is universal agreement—things like early detection and access to evidence-based care at appropriate level-of-care hospitals and treatment centers paid for by insurers and national health systems. There may be philosophical differences on some things in the field and we do all want those affected to recover; that is never in question.
The idea became a dialogue in November and the responses were immediately positive with people, and organizations both large and small, embracing a project having diversity and inclusion, both demographically and by diagnosis, as a core principle. With that in mind a steering committee of wildly talented activists from the wider eating disorder community was formed and work is now beginning in earnest.
The day has a name, a date and a hashtag: World Eating Disorder Action Day, June 2, 2016, and #WeDoAct. We are ready to pursue United Nations recognition of a global day and we are building a social media campaign infrastructure parallel with the steering committee meeting to set goals and lay out a timeline.
This is an all-volunteer movement; we are pledged to a transparent process and invite anyone interested to join in. The first year will be a virtual coming together and it is the plan that next year there will be regional, culturally and politically relevant actions where advocates come together to dispel myths and stereotypes and share the message that eating disorders need to be treated and funded as the deadly disorders they are – especially when early detection and access to speedy and state-of-the-art therapies unequivocally improve outcomes.
As with pediatric cancers, pediatric AIDS and autism, it is the critical mass of all stakeholders joining together on common messages and missions which has the power to make needed changes in the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders. Please join us in raising our voices. To stay informed please watch this space.