According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) it is estimated that approximately 10 and 20% of women and 4 to 10% of men in college suffer from an eating disorder. Wilson College now has a Project HEAL Chapter which was started by sophomore Gabby Marrero.
“I decided to start a Project HEAL chapter at Wilson because I wanted to provide the necessary support for those who are struggling with eating disorders and other mental illnesses,” Marrero commented.
According to their website, Project HEAL was started by two 15-year old’s, Liana Rosenman and Kristina Saffran. They founded Project HEAL with hopes to raise money for people suffering with eating disorders who couldn’t afford treatment. In 2017, Project HEAL expanded, now providing opportunities for support and early intervention.
College can be a time of excitement as students prepare for the future but can also be full of stress. Eating disorders can develop when students feel the need to assert control over what stresses them using food restrictions, over-exercising, and focusing on unhealthy body weights.
The transition from home to college can be hard for students as well. It can trigger eating disorders for people who are in recovery because they do not have the support or help that they did at home.
“College can be especially hard for those who are in recovery, so I wanted to make sure they know they are not alone throughout their journey. I am an eating disorder survivor, so I know the suffering that they can cause, and I want to be able to be there for anyone who needs assistance. Project HEAL raises money to help send those diagnosed with eating disorders to get to treatment centers all around the world, so I thought it would be great for Wilson College to help be a part of changing the lives of those in need,” Marrero added.
The Project HEAL chapter at Wilson will be holding multiple bakes sales, t-shirt sales and fundraisers at different Chambersburg restaurants throughout the school year. In the spring, the chapter hopes to bring awareness events that partner with other clubs at Wilson.
The chapter goal is to grow as much as possible, to spread awareness not only at Wilson, but in the Chambersburg community as well.
Clubs like Project HEAL help show students that Wilson is a caring and supportive campus.