Dennis Wilson established the Aubrey’s Song Foundation in 2005 as a not-for-profit organization to honor the memory of Aubrey Michelle Clark, a young Owensboro native who lost her life after a long bout with eating disorders at 22.
Clark’s friends and family refer to her as an amazing young woman with a bright smile and creative spirit. Not recognizing her beauty and self-worth as her friends and family did, she turned to disordered eating in middle school.
She kept her struggles with body image a secret, leaving her illness undetected and placing her in critical health at the time of diagnosis. With little to no medical treatment options in Owensboro, she and her family ventured out of state for healthcare and embarked on a 4-year journey of revolving treatment centers.
As a family friend, Wilson created the organization with aspirations to reduce and eliminate other young people and families from experiencing a similar struggle. Nearly two decades later, the grassroots movement has grown and evolved, naming Carolyn Ferber as the first executive director in 2019.
“Right now, our goal is to raise awareness about eating disorders and do what we can to get the word out in the community,” Ferber said. “We’re constantly searching for opportunities to educate the community through events and health fairs.”
A primary focus for Ferber and her team is promoting positive body image and prevention in schools. They enter middle and high schools with presentations of positive body images and discuss the red flags of eating disorders.
“We’ve found that body image is a common denominator for anyone with a disorder,” she said. “We started asking, ‘What influences a body image? What makes it positive?’ We want to help individuals identify influences and understand how not to allow them to affect their self-image.”
The Owensboro Health Community Grants Program recently presented Aubrey’s Song with a grant to expand its public services. Ferber said they’re emphasizing helping patients and loved ones find local resources for treatment and higher levels of treatment.
Aubrey’s Song uses its case management program as another means of advocacy, working with patients and families where they are to provide the best referrals possible.
“We want to ensure we’re getting patients the help they need based on their circumstances and providing them the best referral possible,” Ferber said. “We will then follow up and stay in touch to ensure they’re staying on track and getting support for early intervention.”
Ferber said they’ve recently added a caregiver support group to offer additional support to parents, grandparents, spouses, and loved ones.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to come together and share how they’re doing and feeling about supporting their loved one,” she said. “They share tips, challenges, frustrations, and celebrations. It’s a place to feel less alone in their journey.”
The organization serves individuals and families from all over the tri-state and as far north as Bloomington. They are establishing training programs for therapists to secure additional treatment opportunities in the community.
To learn more about Audrey’s Song, visit aubreyssong.org.
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