Widespread Social Dialogue
I think one thing we can do is start looking at the conversations that never take place around eating disorders. Sometimes we don’t talk about eating disorders because they are surrounded in thick clouds of stigma, or they’re dismissed as not being a “priority issue,” or maybe because we think people might not be interested if they’re not openly connected to the issue. All of these barriers make for a closed dialogue around eating disorders. We need to think about how we can bring this conversation to other sectors that aren’t already going to eating disorder conferences or aren’t already involved because they’ve been personally affected. This year, I started up a project called Post Your Change, where we aim to kickstart dialogue in the community around eating disorders. We’ve had conversations everywhere from universities to a senior’s centre. Through Post Your Change, we’ve been creating advocacy postcards to involve politicians in the conversation around eating disorders (examples attached). This is a very small step towards opening up the conversation, but hopefully little by little we can stop putting people with eating disorders on mute. To make widespread social change, don’t we need widespread social dialogue?
~ Claire Sieffert