Cision PR Newswire

Eating Disorder Cases Increase, Need for Certified and Quality-Trained Professionals

iaedp Foundation provides certification, training and accreditation at an increased rate

PEKIN, Ill. , Nov. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The COVID-19 pandemic brought about profound changes in our daily lives, from the way we work and interact with others to how we view our own bodies. Among the many health issues exacerbated during this challenging period are eating disorders. Research shows the number of teens with eating disorders more than doubled.

"Social media, lockdowns, and the accompanying stress created a perfect storm that heightened the prevalence of eating disorders, underscoring the crucial need for certified and quality-trained professionals to address this growing public health concern," said Bonnie Harken, Managing Director of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp™) Foundation. iaedp provides rigorous training and credentialing for a wide range of practitioners.

Before the pandemic, eating disorders were already a pressing public health issue, affecting millions of people globally. However, the lockdowns and social distancing measures implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19 had unintended consequences on individuals' mental and emotional well-being. Isolation, uncertainty, and a lack of access to support systems contributed to increased anxiety, depression, and stress.

"We are seeing an increased need for certified and quality-trained professionals to provide effective care and support for those affected," said Harken. "iaedp-trained and certified professionals offer a range of services, including therapy, nutritional guidance, and medical intervention when necessary. Patients should review the qualifications of a provider first and foremost as eating disorders are complicated and multi-faceted."

The role of certified mental health professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors, is crucial in addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of eating disorders. Specially trained professionals help patients uncover the underlying causes of their disorders, develop coping strategies, and work toward recovery. Certified dietitians and nutritionists play a key role in the physical well-being of individuals with eating disorders. Medical professionals, including physicians and nurses, are essential in cases where eating disorders have led to severe physical complications. They can provide medical assessments and interventions to address life-threatening issues related to eating disorders. iaedp offers an online search for patients to find a certified professional.

The 2024 iaedp Global Symposium registration draws eating disorders practitioners and professionals from around the globe each year. The event provides training, core courses for certification, and sessions from experts in multiple languages. The massive gathering provides best practices, the latest research and opportunities for professional networking for attendees to share insights and hands-on experiences.

"To combat this alarming trend, we must emphasize the importance of certified and quality-trained professionals who can offer the support and guidance needed to help individuals recover. Our annual symposium is just one large piece of that effort," said Harken. "It is only through a collaborative effort from individuals, communities, and professionals that we can successfully address this public health concern and work toward a healthier future."

About the iaedp™ Foundation: Since 1985, the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals has provided education and training standards to an international and multidisciplinary group of various healthcare treatment providers and helping professions.  The iaedp™ Foundation's Presidents Council, which provides organization support, includes: Center for Change; Center for Discovery; Eating Recovery Center; Laureate Eating Disorders Program; The Meadows Ranch; Rogers Behavioral Health; The Renfrew Center; Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center; Alsana Eating Disorder Treatment & Recovery Centers; Walden Behavioral Care; Monte Nido & Affiliates; and Odyssey Eating Disorder Network; Within Health; Banyan Centers; WD Recovery and Wellness Center; Mind Over Body; Koru Spring Center.

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