National Eating Disorders Awareness Week — A Time to Educate, Destigmatize, & Promote Treatment

Every year, we pause to recognize National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness Week), a campaign that was crafted by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to promote awareness of eating disorders, provide education to the public, and offer encouragement to those who are suffering from eating disorders.

This year, NEDAwareness Week takes place February 21-27.

Eating disorders are devastating illnesses that can cause immense turmoil in the lives of the individuals who are battling them. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, eating disorders are considered to be among the most deadly of all mental illnesses, and an estimated 9% of the world’s population is affected by them. Unfortunately, many of these people suffer in silence. The stigma around eating disorders can cause feelings of shame, ultimately pushing those who are suffering from them into seclusion. They may feel like they need to hide their symptoms, seeming to exist in a perpetual state of secrecy, trying to battle their compulsions on their own.

The goal of NEDAwareness Week is to destigmatize these illnesses and help those who are suffering know that they are not alone, that they do not need to feel ashamed, and that help is available.

At The Refuge, A Healing Place, we understand that individuals who are suffering from eating disorders have unique needs and require a tailored approach to treatment. For this reason, we opened Oak House, a stand-alone residential eating disorder treatment program that is designed specifically for individuals who are struggling with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, orthorexia, and other specified feeding and eating disorders.

Oak House at The Refuge offers programming for adults age 18 and older of all genders. We are an LGBTQIA+-affirming program in which clients of all sexual orientations and gender identities can find a compassionate, encouraging space where they can focus fully on their recovery journey without fear of judgment or discrimination.

Treatment at Oak House is person-centered, ensuring that all clients feel safe and respected during their time in our care. As is true of all programs at The Refuge, treatment at Oak House is centered on a trauma-informed approach, incorporating elements of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy, forward-facing trauma therapy, and a number of experiential and holistic therapies. We also offer meal and nutrition support throughout a client’s time in treatment and can accommodate clients who follow a kosher diet.

We understand that there are times when a person may be struggling with co-occurring concerns in addition to an eating disorder. At Oak House, we strive to offer fully comprehensive care so that clients can receive individualized treatment that addresses co-occurring mental health disorders and substance use disorders when needed.

Healing from an eating disorder can be a painful and challenging journey that must be met with compassion, empathy, and understanding. Our goal is to empower each client as they discover their inner strength, explore their emotional responses, learn how to gain control of their behaviors, build a healthy relationship with food, develop beneficial coping skills, and learn to trust themselves so that they can leave treatment with the confidence of knowing that they can thrive in their future.

You can learn more about Oak House at The Refuge, A Healing Place here.

To learn more about National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, please visit