Free workshops raise eating disorder awareness

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Students attend the workshops offered by BYU's Women Services. (Isabelle Robinson)
Students attend the workshops offered by BYU’s Women Services and Resources. (Isabelle Robinson)

Women’s Services and Resources will continue to hold free workshops to raise awareness of eating disorders during its eating disorder campaign titled “Everybody Knows Somebody.”

The campaign started Jan. 26 and continues until this Friday, Feb. 6. Each day three workshops are held, one at 11:15 a.m., one at 12:15 a.m. and one at 1:15 a.m. in the Women’s Services and Resources office in Room 3326 of the Wilkinson Student Center.

The workshops cover topics such as body image, helping others cope with eating disorders, building a healthy relationship with food and men’s eating disorders.

Marriage and family therapy graduate student Lauren Drean is one of the interns that helped organize the workshops. Drean said the goal of these workshops is to offer a place and resources for anyone who has an eating disorder or knows someone who does.

“Eating disorders are more common than people think and are talked about less often than they need to be,” Drean said. “These workshops are awesome; there is lots of good information and great resources too.”

Drean said the workshops are a product of all those working in the office, including Women’s Services and Resources Nutritionist Breanne Vance.

“We have an awesome nutritionist that works with us to make sure we are getting the best and the most current information,” Drean said.

Junior Alison Linford from Mesa, Arizona, said she loved the workshop “Building Healthy Relationships with Food.”

“I think it is giving women an opportunity to learn about things they couldn’t otherwise,” Linford said. “An opportunity to ask questions and realize that others have those same question and that you are not crazy.”

Laura Drean leads the discussion on eating disorder awareness. The Women's Services and Resources Center will hold free workshops throughout the week from Feb. 2 to Feb. 6. (Matthew Armstrong)
Laura Drean leads a discussion on eating disorder awareness. The Women’s Services and Resources Center will hold free workshops throughout the week, from Feb. 2 to Feb. 6. (Matthew Armstrong)

Linford said it was her passion for people that drove her to attend the workshop.

“Society today makes you feel like you need to fit into a certain category,” Linford said. “I have seen people with a mindset that is similar to those that have eating disorders, and I wanted to find ways to help people with that mindset feel good about themselves.”

The week’s topics are outlined as follows:

Tuesday, Feb. 3 — Healthy Body Images

Wednesday, Feb. 4 — Building a Healthy Relationship with Food

Thursday, Feb. 5 — BYU alumnus Spencer Hansen will speak on men’s eating disorders.

Friday, Feb. 6 — Overview of Eating Disorders

More information can be found at wsr.byu.edu or at the Wilkinson Student Center Room 3326.

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