BUFFALO, N.Y. — Driving downtown on Thursday night, you may have noticed the Electric Tower and City Hall both lit up green and blue. These colors are symbolic of hope for those with eating disorders, a reminder that help is available.
The colors match the logo of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which every year in February hosts National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This year, it's February 22 through 28.
Catherine Cook-Cottone, a professor at UB and psychologist who has studied eating disorders for years, says research shows that the pandemic has heightened many risk factors for developing an eating disorders. Those include social isolation, disruption of activities, increased media exposure, changes in sleep and exercise, and lower access to care outside of the home, such as peer groups and other support systems. The weather is another challenge.
"It's also winter right now," she told 2 On Your Side, "That's a high-risk time, because we can all put on our baggy clothes and parents and friends might not notice somebody's weight changes or risk factors."
If you may need help with an eating disorder or disordered eating habits, there is help available here in Western New York.
Locally, there is help for you and your loved ones:
A few local resources, but not all:
- UBMD Medical Group Adolescent Medicine at Conventus (1001 Main Street 4th Floor, Buffalo, NY 14203) or University Commons (1404 Sweet Home Road Suite 5, Amherst, NY 14228). Contact: 716-323-0050
- Oishei Children's Hospital Adolescent Medicine - Special Eating Disorders
- WNY Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders (Multiple Locations) Contact: (800) 700-4573 or click here.
- Narins Eating Disorder Center Contact: 716-688-5372; 2430 North Forest Road, Suite 130, Amherst, N.Y. 14068
- Jewish Family Services of Western New York Contact: 716-883-1914; 70 Barker Street, Buffalo, NY 14209
General Mental Health:
To Write Love On Her Arms, another mental health nonprofit, also offers a search tool for mental health, health care, and other resources. You can view that by clicking here.
You can about how to treat eating disorders using the body as a resources in Professor Catherine Cook-Cottone's new book, The Embobiment and Treatment of Eating Disorders.
This is not an all inclusive list. For more information or resources, call 211, or visit nationaleatingdisorders.org.