We at Accanto Health are deeply concerned by the bills being introduced in state houses across the country that single out LGBTQ+ individuals – many specifically targeting transgender youth – for exclusion or differential treatment. The ACLU is currently tracking 420 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the U.S. These laws are aimed to limit access to medical care for transgender people, parental rights, social and family services, student sports, or access to public facilities such as restrooms and unnecessarily single out already marginalized groups for additional disadvantage.
As an inclusive healthcare organization, we strongly believe in every individual’s right to access high-quality care. Emerging data show transgender individuals are at particularly increased risk for eating disordered behaviors. We believe that exclusionary legislation, barriers to care, and societal ostracization is harmful and unjust and will only cause these trends to increase. We are saddened by lawmakers’ refusal to listen to best practices set by the American Psychological Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as many others. We at Accanto stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and strive to create a space that is safe for all, where all are treated with dignity and respect.
Eating disorders and icebergs are more alike than one might think. Picture an iceberg floating in a vast ocean: You can only see the tip of the iceberg and have no idea of what is under the surface of the water. Most people look at an eating disorder the same way, only seeing what is on the outside. This generally represents the behavioral parts of an eating disorder – changes in weight and eating patterns, excessive exercise patterns, purging, restricting, bingeing, selective eating, and so on – the things that, for the most part, you can see, measure, and quantify.
The most dangerous parts of an eating disorder (and an iceberg) are what you cannot see. Below the surface of an eating disorder are a host of maladaptive thoughts and mental preoccupations, shame, distress, and often feelings of deep isolation. Parents sometimes say, “Well, she gained her weight back or stopped bingeing, so she must be better.” Unfortunately, that is not usually the case. Despite looking better on the outside, they may still be plagued by eating disorder thoughts and feelings.
Making quality eating disorder care more accessible is core to The Emily Program’s mission. Given the diversity of individual and family needs, we recognize that no one delivery approach is optimal for all clients. Our virtual programming addresses geographical and psychosocial treatment barriers, allowing those with an eating disorder to engage in treatment where it works best for them. With our online eating disorder treatment capabilities, our standard evidence-based care is both convenient and effective.
We are pleased to share that The Emily Program’s adolescent residential program in Columbus, Ohio has opened its doors! At the 16-bed licensed facility, children and adolescents ages 10–18 can access highly structured, intensive eating disorder treatment in a safe, supportive, and comfortable setting.
By expanding residential programming in the region, we further our commitment to increasing access to personalized and multidisciplinary eating disorder treatment. The new program completes our continuum of care options for children and adolescents of all genders in central Ohio. It comes at a time when the need for specialty treatment has never been greater.
“We’re very excited to bring this residential program to Columbus, especially with the increase in hospitalizations for eating disorders among children and adolescents we’ve seen throughout the pandemic,” said Dr. Jillian Lampert, The Emily Program’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Eating disorders are serious illnesses, but we also know they are highly treatable. Access to effective care at the appropriate level is critical. Residential treatment isn’t widely available in the region, so we’re pleased to be able to meet that need.”
We are excited to share that The Emily Program and Veritas Collaborative have merged, joining two of the nation’s leading eating disorder treatment programs.
Both programs are known for their warm and authentic care for people of all ages and genders across the array of eating disorders diagnoses. The Emily Program and Veritas will retain their brands in their respective markets across the Northwest, Midwest, and Southeast and remain committed to maintaining the highest clinical integrity and standards of care, while expanding access to treatment.
“We are so pleased to be part of growing access to care for individuals and families dealing with these treatable, life-threatening illnesses,” said Dave Willcutts, CEO. “Our two companies together will set the standard for comprehensive care from outpatient through inpatient to equip clients and families with the understanding, interventions, and ongoing support they need to achieve recovery. We believe recovery from these fierce illnesses is rooted in relationships, and we are honored to be a part of people’s journey to recovery.”
Collectively, The Emily Program and Veritas currently have 20 locations across Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, with outpatient individual, group, and family services; intensive outpatient programs; partial hospital programs; residential programs; and inpatient care — with various gender-inclusive programs focused on addressing the needs of children, adolescents, and adults. The combined thought leadership and reputation of our two programs is exceptional and positions us as an industry-leading voice in the eating disorders field for many years to come — all the while focused on how to best meet the needs of those we employ and those we serve.
We are thrilled to announce that The Emily Program will open a new residential program for adolescents in Columbus, Ohio in early 2022. With this expansion, we will address the lack of residential treatment available to adolescents in the state.
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