An estimated 77 percent of people with eating disorders will never seek treatment, a statistic that resonated with Minnesota’s WCCO News team. We’re grateful they invited our Chief Strategy Officer Jillian Lampert onto their show to explain some of the barriers that keep thousands of people with eating disorders from seeking help.
Lampert told CBS viewers that these two factors often keep people from asking for help:
1. Lack of information: “People don’t know that what they’re struggling with is an illness that they can get treatment for,” she explained. They often don’t realize that their unusual eating behaviors are caused by a biologically based brain illness. Also, eating disorders can affect anyone. People of any age, any income level, and any ethnicity can develop an eating disorder at any time in their life.
2. Stigma: “With mental health, we have a bit of a stigma around accessing care and saying something is wrong,” Lampert said. Eating disorders are an illness, not a choice, and people need help to recover. The Emily Program offers care and loving support while teaching people the skills they need to live a different life.
Passion and a commitment to help people with eating disorders are what separates The Emily Program from others in the country, Lampert said. “We’re an eating disorder program founded by people who have experienced eating disorders personally,” she explained. Because much of our organization’s leadership has faced similar struggles, people feel understood. “We can say, ‘we’ve been there, and we got better,’” Lampert said. Our team demonstrates that recovery is possible.
The Emily Program offers personalized services, so people can start treatment at the level that is right for them, at a location that is local and convenient to them. That might mean anything ranging from full-time residential care to outpatient group therapy.
WCCO anchor Ali Lucia told the story of how we started in a small St. Paul office with milk crates for tables. Now 25 years later, we are one of the largest programs for eating disorders in the country. In addition to our Minnesota locations, we have locations in Washington state, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
The Emily Program’s facilities are warm and approachable. Our team strives to make everyone feel safe and welcome, erasing the fear many can feel when seeking help. Call us at 888-364-5977 to learn more.
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