March 2017 - Monthly News & Tips
IN THIS ISSUE
Mark's Musings - Educating, Advocating are Crucial to Maintaining Legislative Gains in Eating Disorder Treatment
For people suffering from eating disorders and other psychological and neurobiological disorders, obtaining insurance coverage for necessary treatment has been a significant struggle for many, many years.
The good news is there have been several positive strides in the last 10 years for people with eating disorders. Each of these changes began with early parity legislation to ensure both mental and physical health received the same coverage.
Another very important step was the classification of eating disorders as a neurobiological illness, which increased the understanding that it is a major mental illness deserving of equity and insurance coverage.
In addition, many legislative actions have occurred, such as the Affordable Care Act. These laws eliminated insurance restrictions on pre-existing conditions and widened eligibility for people up to age 26 to be covered under their parents’ insurance.
There was also an expansion of Medicaid in many states. And for those who are employed, the ability to receive government necessities to offset the cost of health insurance was a tremendous benefit.
But in our current political climate, many people are concerned that insurance gains and coverage for eating disorders — hard won over the last two decades — could suffer setbacks.
What is crucial for us to remember is that members of both political parties have stated that their goal is to maintain and even improve coverage. But, saying it is different from doing it. To maintain and forward our progress we have a lot of work to do.
As educated consumers and providers of eating disorder treatment, it is critically important that we continue to work to educate our legislators and advocate at both the state and federal levels to preserve the gains that have been won to provide coverage for better and more appropriate care.
The more our legislators know how valuable these aspects of insurance coverage are to all of us, the higher the likelihood going forward that these tremendous advances will be maintained. Please watch our social media and newsletter for opportunities to use your voice to help make a difference for millions of people struggling with eating disorders!
Mark Warren, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, The Emily Program
Aimee Arikian, PhD, Therapist and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Coordinator, St. Paul, MN
Aimee Arikian joined The Emily Program full time in 2010 a few years after serving as a psychology practicum student here. Because she had a background in eating disorder research, she was excited to put her knowledge to use and work clinically with people fighting eating disorders.
Today, she spends her time at The Emily Program as a psychologist in our adult outpatient program and also serves as the coordinator for our Twin Cities Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowship.
“For each therapy session, I strive to meet clients with warmth, nonjudgment and a sense of collaboration,” she said. “I believe that clients come to see me with strengths and wisdom, and I feel privileged in helping them rediscover these.”
Aimee graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology doctoral program with a minor in Prevention Science.
Learn more about Aimee and why we think she stands out!
TEP: What's the most common concern you hear from clients?
Aimee: In my experience, deep down many clients fear being unacceptable or unlovable. After uncovering this, we might sit in grief together and it never fails that I am able to offer reminders of the goodness I see in— and hear about—the individual in front of me.
TEP: What have clients taught you about food?
Aimee: I’ve learned that food is so much more than fuel. Food can mean fear, connection, comfort, discomfort, excitement, distress, boredom and so on. It's an honor to journey with clients to understand their relationships with food to break the painful attachments while hanging on to the more helpful parts of it. Doing all this while continuing to eat. It’s not easy.
TEP: Any fun trips planned this year?
Aimee: I'm looking forward to visiting my alma mater for a cousin’s graduation in the spring. I always love visiting my home state of New York.
Join us to hear inspiring stories of recovery from staff, former clients and community members. Recovery nights are free and open to the public. Upcoming dates:
In St. Paul, MN: Tues., April 11: Begins at 6:30 p.m. at 2265 Como Ave. • St. Paul, MN 55108
In St. Paul, MN (Toogood): Tues. Mar. 28 & Wed. Mar. 29: Recovery Nights for adolescents - Tues., April 11: Begins at 6:00 p.m. at 2230 Como Ave. • St. Paul, MN 55108
In Seattle, WA: Wed., March 8: Begins at 6:00 p.m. at 1700 Westlake Ave. N • Seattle, WA 98109
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"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." -Eleanor Roosevelt