Communities of HEALing

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_DSC0197Project HEAL is thrilled to announce our new and innovative peer support program called Communities of HEALing. We will be launching this program this Spring in the Philadelphia and New York City area and hope to extend across our Chapters nationally over the coming year.

What is it? Communities of HEALing includes 1-on-1 mentorship, a weekly support group led by peers in active recovery/ recovered, and possible engagement in The Body Project.

Mentorship: Carolyn Costin has been working with Project HEAL and has developed a wonderful mentor training program that helps guide recovered mentors in engaging currently struggling individuals in meaningful and positive ways.

Support: Mentors co-facilitate a weekly peer support group where individuals who are currently struggling can share their thoughts and feelings in a supportive community that includes others in a similar place and some in active recovery or recovered. 

The Body Project: Members in early stages of recovery (active recovery 1+ year) may engage local junior high and high school aged students with Eric Stice and Carolyn Becker’s evidence based eating disorder prevention program “The Body Project.” NEDA and other organizations have been supportive of this amazing educational program and we plan on implementing it in our Communities of HEALing.

HEALing. We are confident that Communities of HEALing will have a strong, positive impact on people who desire recovery from their eating disorder. These communities provide mentoring, support, and giving back. We also believe that those who are mentors in active recovery/ recovered will be further empowered in the process of helping others.

We are partnering with researchers at the University of California San Diego Eating Disorder Research and Treatment Center and Recovery Record to develop an evidence base for our Communities of HEALing peer-support program.

Who is it for? This support program is for individuals who suffer from eating disorders and have an outpatient team. Our program is meant to be an adjunct  peer support program and is NEVER a replacement for professional treatment. This is not treatment or therapy. It is support led by individuals in active recovery/ recovered.

How do I become a mentee? If you are interested in becoming a mentee, please contact our Director of Program, Mike Thomas, at mike@theprojectheal.org

Background. There are very few opportunities for people who are in recovery/recovered to give back and mentor others who are currently suffering from eating disorders. Apart from becoming a medical doctor or mental health professional, directly engaging people who are struggling with a message of inspiration and hope is not a common task. We recently interviewed 50 people who are in active recovery/recovered and all stated that they would like to find ways to tangibly support people who are presently struggling. Similarly, a near constant refrain among individuals suffering from eating disorders is “I don’t know anyone who is in recovery (or recovered).” So we put the dots together and decided to take action.