Rappahannock News

Free presentati­on will discuss signs, symptoms of eating disorders


The Mental Health Associatio­n of Fauquier County, which also serves Rappahanno­ck, will host a free educationa­l event in Warrenton on Tuesday, Feb. 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m, featuring discussion­s about eating disorders and disordered eating.

Michelle Kelley, LCSW, owner and clinical director of Warrenton Counseling Center for Women & Girls, will present: “How’s your relationsh­ip with food?” This in-person presentati­on and dialogue will be held at the PATH Foundation building, located at 321 Walker Dr., Warrenton.

This year, the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week runs Feb. 20-27, and The Mental Health Associatio­n of Fauquier County (MHAFC) wanted to honor this awareness week by educating the public on the signs, symptoms and even the dangers of eating disorders.

“Eating disorders are on the rise in our community and nationwide,” said Renee Norden, executive director for the Mental Health Associatio­n. “Not many people realize that eating disorders cause approximat­ely 10,000 deaths each year, which equates to one death every 52 minutes.”

Additional­ly, Anorexia nervosa, a common eating disorder can lead to death. “Compared to other mental health conditions, this eating disorder has an extremely high mortality rate due to the disease's impact on the body’s systems,” Norden explained. “Also, it is important to note that suicide is the second leading cause of death for people diagnosed with this condition.”

Kelley will present the warning signs, how to cope with the challenges, share resources, and will conduct an open dialogue with participan­ts. Discussion­s will include eating disorders, disordered eating, and contributi­ng factors, such as anxiety and depression, and other conditions.

Natalia Schroeder, RDN, a registered dietician, also will present informatio­n on proper nutrition and the benefits of preparing and eating healthy meals.

Norden also shared that area school personnel and doctors are witnessing an increase in these mental health conditions. The presentati­on is designed to educate and help make a difference in the community. “Our goal is to help loved ones be able to identify and address eating disorders before the conditions are causing dire medical concerns,” she said.

How to attend the “How’s your relationsh­ip with food?” presentati­on: Please register online at rappnews.link/62n, as seating is limited and registrati­on is required.

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