Last week, the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders visited Normandy High School in Parma to educate students on the dangers of eating disorders and the importance of early detection and treatment. Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Donna Rowan invited two clinicians from our center to talk to her students in her Healthy Foods class.
Her students had just completed a study on eating disorders, so it was a great opportunity for us to discuss real-life situations and issues surrounding this devastating illness.
Board certified Karen Kristy, APRN, and Joanna Hardis, LISW, spoke about the diagnosis and assessment process, life cycles of the illness and comprehensive eating disorder treatment programs. In addition, they debunked common myths about eating disorders.
Karen and Joanna work in our adult and adolescent assessment area at CCED and explained to students what potential patients may experience. Patients receive a thorough evaluation and may be asked about his/her eating habits, beliefs and behaviors. We also recommend that patients are assessed by a medical physician, which may include laboratory testing and an EKG. Finally, our interdisciplinary team will discuss the individual’s treatment needs.
The clinicians also talked about the multiple levels of treatment programs available, from outpatient programs like the ones CCED provides to inpatient residential care. They touched on advancements in the treatment field, informing students about evidence-based care, such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Maudsley Family Based Therapy, which have been shown to offer patients a greater chance for recovery.
After the discussion, Karen and Joanna opened it up for a question-and-answer session.
“The students took away the message that eating disorders can happen to anyone and they are extremely dangerous,” boasts Donna. “I feel the students better understood the serious [nature] of this issue because the ladies explained they have clients from all over the Cleveland area, including fellow Normandy Invaders!”
It was a great experience for everyone involved. In fact, so much so that Donna invited Karen and Joanna to return next semester, and they agreed!
If you’re interested in CCED clinicians speaking to your students or organization about eating disorders and treatment programs, please contact Katie Dent. She can be reached at 216.765.0500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.