On college campuses throughout the nation, and especially on Slippery Rock’s campus, mental health issues have become a major focus. One issue that affects many students is eating disorders. National Eating Disorders Week runs from Feb. 25 to March 1. To raise awareness of eating disorders, the Psychology Club and Body Reflections held the event Nourish to Flourish.
“Nourish to Flourish is to bring awareness to the psychological aspect of eating disorders and kind of bring help to the mental aspect of it, and kind of straying away from the physical aspect of it because that can be a little taboo and harder to talk about,” president of the psychology club Amanda Reichert said.
Although other clubs also participated in the event, every year, Body Reflections hosts different activities to spread awareness of eating disorders.
“Essentially we create events throughout National Eating Disorder Awareness week and this event in particular was chosen because when we talk about eating disorders, a lot of times we talk about not talking about the intake of food and exercise, so on the flip side we created an event around nourishing our minds and bodies in ways that we don’t usually talk about,” the President of Reflections, Jessica Farman said.
The event consisted of self-care tips and tricks and also had a focus on creating a positive self-reflection. However, all of those involved shared information about eating disorders to help people understand them a little bit better.
“It’s a lot of just becoming aware that there are a lot of ways of dealing with this too and putting an emphasis on loving yourself as you are,” Vice President of Body Reflections, Mikaila Leonard said. “That also plays into what we’re doing for the rest of the week.”
Last semester, Slippery Rock as a whole placed an emphasis on mental illness and sometimes eating disorders were not included in those conversations, so the goal was to try and give eating disorders their own platform and to spark a new conversation among students.
Organizations that had their own tables at the event included the Women’s and Pride Center, the Meditation Club and Active Minds. Each organization added a different aspect to the event and gave different ways to better take care of yourself.
“I think it’s very important to take care of yourself, semesters can be very grueling mentally and if you take care of yourself mentally, then it’s easier to take care of yourself physically and to excel in your schoolwork,” Reichert said.
The name of the event came from pins that said “Nourish to Flourish”; the name fit perfectly for the event. The hope is that the event will increase in the future to help make people more aware of eating disorders and give people tips on how to take care of both their minds and bodies.
“I think it’s so important [to take of yourself mentally and physically],” Leonard said. “Not only during the semester because it’s important to be able to find things that you can do to relieve your stress and make sure you are taking care of yourself, because we’re all hot messes sometimes, we’re college kids.”