Hello Life Eating Disorder Recovery Services received a $10,000 grant from the Health Care Foundation to offer its first professionally-led support group.
The Longview nonprofit is partnering with Food is Not the Enemy of Vancouver to offer the free group to Cowlitz County adults for a year, according to a press release.
Research has shown those with access to both peer and professional support have a higher recovery rate, according to the release.
“The connection between peer support and professional treatment and care with long term eating disorder recovery has been shown repeatedly in numerous studies, and we are grateful to be a piece of each person’s recovery path,” Hello Life Executive Director Shira Lile said in a statement. “Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for both peer support and professional support for folks battling with eating disorders in our community, based on the feedback from individuals we’ve served, has never been more critical.”
Food is Not the Enemy approaches eating disorders from a non-diet, health at every size perspective, which allows group members to tackle the eating disorder and disordered body image in a way that allows for lasting change, said founder and therapist Anne Cuthbert.
“Eating disorders destroy a person’s self-esteem as well as wreak havoc on their physical health,” Cuthbert said in a statement. “Group therapy helps people share in their struggles and triumphs together. One of the most common healing experiences for those who start group therapy is the sense that they are no longer alone. Because eating disorders most often happen in shame and secrecy, this type of experience is invaluable to healing.”