ATHENS, WV (WVNS)– An estimated 28.8 million Americans deal with an eating disorder in their lifetime.

One organization is making it their mission to raise awareness on this issue at Concord University on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

The West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network held an Eating Disorder Awareness Day event in the student center. 

The goal of the event was to offer students resources and information on eating disorders. This not only advocated for students’ overall wellness, but made sure they got the help they needed if they were struggling with an ED. 

“Eating disorders come in many different forms,” said Brandon Whitehouse, a collegiate recovery coach. “You hear about bulimia or anorexia or things like that, but it could come in binge eating or intermediate fasting or however it may look, and it becomes overwhelming for their body, so we want them to be aware of that, we want them to be educated on the different types of eating disorders, how to spot it and how to address it.”

Whitehouse said for young people especially, they sometimes don’t know what an ED looks like, or how easy it is to possibly fall into one.

“With a younger population, they don’t see that they are not eating healthy, or they are not eating well or they are not eating as much as they need to be,” explained Whitehouse.

Whitehouse said one in five people in the U.S. have an eating disorder, and it’s important to try and offer as much support as possible.

“If it’s making your life unmanageable, it’s probably time to do something about it,” said Whitehouse. “It is something growing that we need to address, we need to pay attention to it and we need to give resources out about it.”

The organization gave away free Narcan and other resources to promote the 8 dimensions of wellness in students. 

Students could also go to a free health clinic on campus for flu shots and COVID vaccines and boosters.