In conjunction with National Eating Disorder week, the Owensboro Community Technical College (OCTC) counseling center is hosting an information session titled, “Come As You Are.” The event will take place Thursday, Feb. 28, in the Chandler Conference Center on the OCTC main campus.
In the fall, a survey was conducted for the First Year Experience (FYE) class, which consisted of 516 students. Out of the 516 students, 410 responded to the survey. While 36 percent of the students said they would like to have more information about living a healthier lifestyle, five percent said they would be interested in learning more about how to help others with eating disorders.
“Come As You Are” is the first of many information sessions planned throughout the year that will feature local speakers from the Owensboro chapter of Food Addicts Anonymous.
Food Addicts Anonymous is a national organization with local city and state chapters around the country. It recognizes that food addiction is a biochemical disorder that occurs at a cellular level, thus believing that eating disorders and food addictions fall within the mental health realm and are to be identified and treated as diseases. There will be testimonies from members of the group who will share their stories and to let those attending know they are not alone.
“We are holding this event in response to the student’s needs and to bring awareness to eating disorders,” said OCTC Director of Counseling Services Barb Tipmore.
She said she first came across the Food Addicts Anonymous group at the college’s monthly Community Coffee event.
Tipmore, who considers herself to be health conscious, was surprised how much she learned about human behavior and how emotions and a person’s mindset can revolve around food. From that meeting, a partnership was developed and the group has been in attendance at the college’s resource fairs.
Counselor JoLynne Chapman was hired this past year, as the college continued to see growing needs amongst its non-traditional students, particularly with mental health. Mental health serves as a large umbrella that covers many conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and others. Eating disorders fall within the mental health category.
“One of our goals is to help our students be healthier from the inside out,” Chapman said. “For that to happen we have to know what is going on with our students. We want them to know that we are here to help. Most of the time if a student is missing classes or not succeeding academically, there is an underlying factor as to why the student isn’t successful. We want to have resources and help available for the mental health needs of our students.”
The next informational session to take place will be Sexual Assault Awareness presented by New Beginnings. All informational sessions provided by the OCTC Counseling Center are open to students, faculty and the general public.
For more information please contact JoLynne Chapman firstname.lastname@example.org.