HelWell and counseling center host events to promote healthy body images on campus

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The University Counseling Center and the Lerner Health and Wellness Center are encouraging discussion and awareness about eating disorders by hosting special events like Mind and Body week and Love Your Body week.

The Health and Wellness Center’s Mind and Body Week, which runs until Friday, is designed to bring more people into the group fitness classes and to give them something fun as well as to bring awareness about eating disorder and body issues, said Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness Erin Maguire. The yoga and pilates classes, including aromatherapy yoga and classes that mix pilates and cardio workouts, are free this week.

“The mind and body classes have an underlying theme of love your body and accept it for what it is,” Maguire said. “They are good classes to link body awareness to.”

Raffles are being held at each Mind and Body Week fitness class, with prizes like reusable water bottles and yoga mats up for grabs.

Information and literature about eating disorders and body image issues are also available in the display case as well at the classes.

The Panhellenic Association and the University Counseling Center also co-sponsored events in February in celebration of Love Your Body Week, a similar cause which also focused on raising awareness about body image issues and eating disorders on campus.

The week was part of the University Counseling Center’s new eating disorder program which has generated an increase in the number of students seeking help for eating disorders from the University Counseling Center, UCC director John Dages said.

“The data suggest that eating disorders are prevalent among this age group,” Dages said of college students.

Despite eating disorders being a common problem among college-ageD students, Dages said that the number of students who come in seeking treatment for eating disorders is relatively low.

“That is why it is so important for us to focus on outreach, particularly with sororities,” Dages said.

The week coincided with the national Eating Disorder Awareness week. The goal of the University sponsored events was to reach out to those who need help or know someone else who may need help, Dages said.

Events included a jean drive, Love Your Body Week info tables, stress relieving activities like yoga and massages, and “Who Loves Ya?” stations. Those tables provided healthy snacks and free massages.

“Our goal is to promote a greater unity and a healthy body image amongst young women,” Vice President of Press Relations and Marketing for the Panhellenic Association Emily D’Antonio said.

UCC has partnered with the Panhel, which oversees the University’s 11 social sororities, as a way of reaching more students on campus and getting information about the events to them.

“These individuals and orgs can really be helpful in spreading the word on campus,” Dages said about reaching out to other student organizations.

The Panhellenic Association used their e-mail list to reach out to each sorority president, informing them of events for the week.

“As the largest student organization for women, we feel it’s important to support a message that every woman can benefit from,” said Racine Levy, the vice president of community relations for the Panhellenic Association.

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