Alexandra Rivasplata Scripps ’22
The Scripps Eating Disorders Alliance (SEDA) is a new campus organization at Scripps founded as a way to offer support, information, and resources to those recovering from eating disorders, affected by eating disorders, or those wanting to learn about eating disorders, mental health, and body image. This alliance means to act as a community dedicated to preventing eating disorders, encouraging recovery, and celebrating individuals’ uniqueness and value. SEDA meets every other Sunday evening. To understand more about the specifics of this club I talked to SEDA’s club president, Scripps Senior, Clarissa Ann Ylagan SC ’19.
What is the goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week? How can this goal be applied at Scripps?
The National Eating Disorders Association sponsors NEDA week, and the 2019 theme is “Come As You Are.” NEDA Week offers opportunities for people to start and join conversations about eating disorders, share their stories, and know that their experiences are valid. The week invites people to come as they are rather than how they think they should be. The larger goal is to increase inclusivity in the eating disorder community by sending the message to all, especially those whose stories have not been widely recognized, that their stories and experiences are valid.
These goals are important in any community. Eating disorders do not discriminate, and misconceptions about and stigma surrounding eating disorders are harmful to those at risk, struggling, and in recovery and prevent people from getting support. Raising awareness, spreading information, and starting conversations rooted in empathy are constituents of SEDA’s mission. SEDA is registered as an official 2019 NEDAwareness Collaborator.
Why is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week important to you?
NEDA Week gives me hope. It is encouraging to know that there is a national movement committed to expanding the conversation, increasing understanding and empathy, and encouraging those suffering towards recovery.
Are you collaborating with other campus organizations for the events of this week?
SEDA frequently partners with Tiernan Field House at Scripps and the Claremont Colleges Eating Disorders Task Force. SEDA-hosted meetings and events are open to all students and faculty at the Colleges.
What support is available at the 5C’s, beyond SEDA?
The Eating Disorder Task Force is a collaborative effort by Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS), Student Health Services (SHS), Health Education Outreach (HEO), Athletics, and the Dean of Student office to provide resources and direct services to students struggling with eating disorders. The Eating Disorder Task Force collaborates to determine the appropriate level of care and provide referrals or provide brief individual therapy, nutritional assessment, and health monitoring when suitable.
The NEDA Helpline is available Monday-Thursday from 9AM to 9PM ET, and Friday from 9AM to 5PM ET. Contact the Helpline for support, resources and treatment options for yourself or a loved one. Helpline volunteers are trained to help you find the information and support you are looking for. Reach out today
Can students with eating disorders be better supported at Scripps?
As the sole student member of the Eating Disorders Task Force at the Claremont Colleges, I try my best to communicate to administration and the Task Force what students need with regard to eating disorders prevention and support. I have also tried to create and share sources of support visible to students and an inclusive eating disorder community. One of the setbacks I have faced is limited funding; the Eating Disorders Task Force does not have funding for programming or events. There is much work to do at the Colleges and with each day, interaction, and experience I learn more about how to go about this work; I hope to be taking important first steps.
What event are you most looking forward to during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week?
I am looking forward to bringing Nalgona Positivity Pride (NPP) to the Motley on Tuesday, February 26 at 7pm for a talk on “Eating Disorders and Body Love: The Things Mama Didn’t Tell you.” The organization provides intersectional eating disorders education and community-based support. All at the Colleges are welcome.
Like the SEDA Facebook page here to stay updated on events and receive information:
The Scripps Eating Disorders Alliance is open to all students, faculty, and staff at the Claremont Colleges and may be joined at any time. For more information, email Clarissa at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to meet her in person to talk, hear her story, or share yours, she would love to meet you.