Because all of the 6 types of eating disorders are serious and deadly psychiatric illnesses, mentalfitness, inc. has developed standards for leading eating disorders trainings in a school or university setting.
1. When Possible, Apply the “Tiered Training” Approach. After 8 years of developing evidence-based eating disorders trainings in schools, universities and medical institutions, we know it is safer to apply a “tiered” approach to eating disorders trainings in a school setting. This means employing conscious strategy to the way a training is rolled out. We recommend that you first train the Faculty and Staff of an entire school. Then, hold a specialized training for Parents, and finally (after others have been trained), incorporate programs that are SAFE for students.
Our nonprofit offers an educator training program through a series of evidence-based webinars featuring the leading researchers in eating disorders. Learn more by contacting me at email@example.com.
2. Connect With Vetted ED Resources. Those leading the training should connect with a minimum of 5 vetted eating disorders resources in the area PRIOR to the presentation. We would prefer those specialists who are credentialed as “Certified Eating Disorders Specialists” (CEDS) from the iaedp organization or as “Fellows of the Academy for Eating Disorders” (FAED) from the AED organization (the two professional organizations that exist today.) When vetting the resources in the area, we encourage schools and communities to try to find public health, sliding scale / Spanish-speaking, as well as private pay and eating disorders resources that accept insurance prior to leading a training. These resources should be listed on a handout and given to every person attending the training.
3. Review How To Manage Serious Mental Illness In School. Schools should already have a policy and procedure in place for managing serious mental illness in the school setting. Prior to leading a training, we recommend that these policies are reviewed and clarified between school counselors, nurses, social workers and educators. It is always a good idea to also connect with the local Department of Mental Health or other applicable agency to review policies, as applicable.
4. Put Resources in the Hands of Participants. Once the training is established, we recommend that PRIOR to the film screening or seminar, myth-buster sheets are distributed to every audience member without them having to ask for it. We have found that this greatly reduces the shame when an audience member does not have to physically ask for resources or help.
5. Follow Guidelines. For those purchasing our educational tools, we recommend following our recommended guidelines for leading the film seminar, Q&A and for distributing our handouts.
The next post will feature recommendations for the types of content that are safe for a faculty / staff training, versus what is safe for students.