JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Missouri citizens will hold the 5th Annual Missouri Eating Disorders Advocacy Day at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., on February 21. This event is an opportunity for those affected by eating disorders, their loved ones and treatment providers to come to the Capitol, educate legislators about eating disorders and ask for support of eating disorders insurance reform legislation.
Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008, national eating disorders awareness advocate and community relations specialist at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, will be speaking at the rally about her personal struggle with an eating disorder and the need for eating disorders insurance reform. Haglund's platform when she won the crown was eating disorders awareness and since then she has worked on educating the community on the serious nature of eating disorders and the need for insurance reform.
"Eating disorders are serious, complex mental health illnesses that are accompanied by many co-occurring conditions," said Annie Seal, a Missouri citizen who serves on the board of the Missouri Eating Disorders Association (MOEDA). "Research has shown that eating disorders are the most fatal of all mental illnesses. More than 500,000 Missourians will struggle with a serious eating disorder at some point in their lives."
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and MOEDA are sponsoring this event. Timberline Knolls, a residential treatment center just outside Chicago for women and adolescent girls, is supporting the event by sending Kirsten Haglund to speak to both the public and legislators.
"Eating Disorders Advocacy Day makes a tremendous difference," adds Seal. "It is important for legislators to hear firsthand how unfair insurance practices keep people in their district from getting the treatment they need."
"Lack of adequate insurance coverage places lives in jeopardy," said Lara Gregorio of the National Eating Disorders Association. "We regularly hear from families that have been forced into bankruptcy trying to save a loved one's life. We applaud Missouri for seeking a pro-active solution to this devastating problem."
Bill sponsors include Representative Rick Stream and Senator David Pearce. Stream and his family have been personally affected by an eating disorder and Pearce has had constituents who lost their daughters to an eating disorder. For them, this bill is extremely important because they see the need first-hand. For more information on the bills, visit www.house.mo.gov and look up HB 131 and HB 132, and www.senate.mo.gov and look up SB 160 and SB 161.
To register for the MO Eating Disorders Advocacy Day, email Lara Gregorio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Missouri Eating Disorders Association:
MOEDA is a St. Louis based not-for-profit committed to bringing hope, compassion and education to the fight against eating disorders. MOEDA provides resource support to Missourians who are suffering as well as drives education and awareness of eating disorders, the most fatal of all mental illnesses. MOEDA's core program offering is a professional development workshop called The Real Skinny which is given to middle and high-school counselors, coaches, physical education teachers and nurses to help drive early intervention and support for those who are at risk or who are actively engaged in an eating disorder. To support eating disorders awareness and education, visit www.moeatingdisorders.org.
About National Eating Disorders Association:
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the leading non-profit organization in the United States advocating on behalf of and supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. Reaching millions every year, we campaign for prevention, improved access to quality treatment, and increased research funding to better understand and treat eating disorders. We work with partners and volunteers to develop programs and tools to help everyone who seeks assistance. For more information, visit www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.
About Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center:
Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls (ages 12 – 65+) with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. Located in suburban Chicago, residents receive excellent clinical care from a highly trained professional staff on a picturesque 43-acre wooded campus. Women and families seeking Christian treatment can opt for specialized Christian-based therapy. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611. We are also on Facebook – Timberline Knolls, and LinkedIn – Timberline Knolls.
Mary Anne Morrow
SOURCE Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center