It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and major events are happening in cities and towns across the nation. Speakers, walks, and other large-scale activities are great for raising awareness and garnering support. You may be thinking that you want to host an event but aren’t sure where to begin. The good news is that an event of any size can make a large impact in your community! Organizations like the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) make it easy to plan an awareness activity. Read on for some tips that will help you participate in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
First, Know Your Goal
What do you want to convey through your event? Who do you want to reach? What kind of event do you want to have? These are the basic questions you must be able to answer before planning your event. For example, if you are a college student you may want to bring in a speaker to talk about eating disorders. You may want to host this event in the student center and invite all students and faculty to attend. How would you go about doing this?
- Create a budget
- Create your messaging
- Reserve space for the event
- Market your event
National Eating Disorders Association Awareness Initiatives
NEDA has many event ideas and planning toolkits available on their website. You can host an event yourself or partner with a local organization to help get the word out in your community.
- Online Eating Disorders Screening: NEDA has partnered with Screening for Mental Health to offer an online screening tool for eating disorders. The screening takes 3 minutes and gives self-assessment results as well as treatment options and resources. A screening can be held as part of a larger event or can be a low-cost or even free activity, depending on the space you choose.
- NEDAwareness Week Community Events: These events can be planned with relative ease by using NEDA’s event planning toolkit. Some organizations and individuals seek out meeting space in the community or on college campuses. Simple invitations can be created using an online resource like Evite, or flyers can be made and distributed to local businesses for display. Examples of awareness week events include film screenings, speakers, and NEDA walks.
- Proud2Bme: A national initiative to bring students, faculty, and campus together to raise awareness. Proud2bme.org has created an online planning guide to help you create impactful campus events.