To all of those in the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community who are hurting, know that we at EDCare see you, hear you and stand with you. We need to be having ongoing conversations around racial justice now more than ever. Inaction and silence perpetuate the oppression; we want to show our commitment to listening, learning, educating, speaking up and taking action to fight the inequality, discrimination and injustice. Black lives matter, black mental health matters.
We, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, were established to ensure that EDCare is competent in working with marginalized populations within the context of eating disorder treatment. This includes embracing diversity of race, religion, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and all body shapes and sizes. We understand the complex intersectionality of our patients and the power that their identities can have on their recovery. Eating disorders do not discriminate. Eating disorders are often thought of as diseases that primarily impact wealthy, white, cisgender females – but this is a myth. The truth is that vulnerable groups are equally at risk, but simply do not have access to care, whether because of increased stigma or because of the prohibitive cost of treatment. For this reason, minorities, low-income people, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities suffer from eating disorders at high rates, but are not as visible as the stereotype, often leaving them underserved.
At EDCare, we are working diligently to address the impact of recent events and racial injustice on our patients and staff members. In our treatment programs, we are providing individual and group space to process feelings around racial injustice, both for staff and patients. We are also harnessing the power of art therapy as we work to process difficult emotions and events, which can be a helpful tool for expressing and engaging in activism. We are offering this outlet to patients at this time, and hope to extend opportunities to staff as well.
As we remind our patients so frequently, change is necessary in order to achieve recovery – in this situation, it is no different. Change HAS to happen. We will be continuing to provide recommendations, reposts and resources for mental health support and activism via social media, our website, and email communication. This conversation, but most importantly our actions and commitment to BIPOC, will continue until there is racial justice.
EDCare’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee