AED president calls for more training for frontline medical providers

We can dedicate our careers to developing all manner of effective treatments, but if at the end of the day they are not reaching the vast majority of people who need them, what impact have we had? – AED President, S. Bryn Austin, FAED

Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) President, Bryn Austin, has urged her members to be heroes in a powerful essay in today’s AED Forum. Speaking to this year’s WEDAD theme, Bryn encourages members to actively address the need for early detection and appropriate treatment for people with eating disorders. Read the first three paragraphs of Bryn’s essay:

Do you know what you’ll be doing on Sunday, June 2? Maybe planning your winter vacation if you happen to be in the southern hemisphere, planning your summer vacation if you’re in the northern hemisphere, or planning for monsoon season if you happen to be around the middle of the two. But no matter where you are, we can all be planning what we will do for World Eating Disorders Action Day (WEDAD) on June 2, 2019.

With the fourth annual WEDAD just around the corner, now is a great time to take stock of what we can do to collectively make progress for the eating disorders community. This year WEDAD is shining a light on the glaring need for improving training in eating disorders for frontline healthcare providers, namely pediatricians, primary care doctors, nurses, physician assistants, dentists, emergency room clinicians, and school health providers. What training do they need most? Early detection and appropriate referral for treatment.

We all want to have a positive impact, but one of the biggest set of hurdles we face as a community is that, because of myriad problems with healthcare delivery systems around the globe, the majority of people with eating disorders — or mental health conditions of any type, for that matter — do not get diagnosed or receive treatment. The recent comprehensive report from the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health makes it painfully clear that this is true in countries worldwide, regardless of whether a nation falls in the high end, low end, or in the middle of the range of the World Bank’s country income classifications. We can dedicate our careers to developing all manner of effective treatments, but if at the end of the day they are not reaching the vast majority of people who need them, what impact have we had?

Read the full article by clicking here.

About World Eating Disorders Action Day 2019

This year grassroots activists, volunteers, and over 250 organizations in 40+ countries are calling for caregivers to receive support, health care workers to be properly trained, and access to immediate, evidence-based treatment.

Why We Can’t Afford to Wait

  • Worldwide over 70 million people are estimated to be affected by an eating disorder,
  • Eating disorders have the HIGHEST MORTALITY RATE of any psychiatric illness
  • Eating disorders affect people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, socioeconomic class, abilities, races, and ethnic backgrounds. It is time to take action.
  • Good news! When treated EARLY and correctly, eating disorders have the highest and fastest recovery rate!   

How to support World Eating Disorders Action Day, June 2, 2019

  1. Join the movement, show your purple on social media! Use hashtag #ShowUsYourPurple
  1. Follow conversation on social media. Use hashtags #ShowUsYourPurple #WeDoActNow
  1. Host or attend an event. See
  1. Donate. To support the work see
  1. Discuss eating disorders. Through open, supportive dialogue, we can create change.

E-book release: Come as you are, eating disorders can’t wait


As a Participating Organisation supporting 2019 World Eating Disorder Action Day, The Diary Healerhas released  a new ebook, Come as you are, eating disorders can’t wait. Stories from around the world illustrate that recovery from an eating disorder IS possible, at every age. The first step, is to seek help. Click here to purchase a copy for $9.97 (AUD) – all profits support eating disorder services.

S Bryn Austin, ScD

About S Bryn Austin, ScD

Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health;  Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Director of Fellowship Research Training, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Austin is an award-winning researcher, teacher, and mentor. Her primary research is in the behavioral sciences and social epidemiology, addressing social and physical environmental influences on eating disorders risk, strategies for preventing eating disorders, and promotion of healthful eating, physical activity, and development in youth in school and community settings. Dr. Austin serves as the President of the board of directors of the Academy for Eating Disorders, and other leading positions in the field of eating disorders In addition, her research interests include gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adolescent health and reduction of sexual orientation and gender identity related health disparities. Dr. Austin received her ScD from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

All articles by S Bryn Austin, ScD

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