State senators Steve Santarsiero and Tim Kearney introduced a resolution to recognize February 27 through March 5 as Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Pennsylvania.
This year’s theme for the “Eating Disorders Awareness Week” is “It’s Time for Change.”
The goal of week was to draw attention to the need for more action to combat disordered eating in Pennsylvania. Eating Disorders Awareness Week is a collaborative effort involving organizations, volunteers, eating disorder professionals, healthcare providers, students, educators, social workers, and individuals dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of eating disorders, according to the office of Santarsiero, a Democrat who represents the 10th Senate District in Bucks County.
Santarsiero spoke on the Pennsylvania Senate floor on Monday and shared that 20 million women and 10 million men in the U.S. suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their life. He hopes that the Eating Disorders Awareness Week will encourage people to share their experiences and highlight the importance of early detection and interventions.
“It is my hope that Eating Disorders Awareness Week will encourage people to share their stories and experiences to highlight the importance of screenings for early detection and interventions,” he said.
Santarsiero and Kearney, a Democrat who represents part of Delaware County, have proposed Senate Bill 294 to require health insurance policies to offer adequate coverage for the treatment of eating disorders. The proposed treatment includes inpatient hospitalization, residential treatment, follow-up outpatient care, counseling, and nutrition therapy services.
Furthermore, Senator Santarsiero has circulated a co-sponsorship memo for another bill to combat eating disorders. The proposed bill would require schools to provide annual educational resources on eating disorders to parents with children in sixth through 12th grades. In addition, the bill would create a joint task force with state education and health officials to create guidelines for the educational resources.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s website for more information or resources.