Normal in Schools Debuts Online Educational Film 2/20

Normal in Schools Debuts Online Educational Film 2/20

NORMAL in Schools (NIS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to education about eating disorders (ED), self esteem and wellness, launched today an online educational film to coincide with national Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 20-26, 2011). The powerful documentary-style film exposes the growing problem of eating disorders in our society, debunks myths, explores treatment options, and calls for better training of the medical community in managing this life-threatening condition.

Created by NIS Founder and President Robyn Hussa after five years of research while entrenched in schools, treatment hospitals and working with families struggling with eating disorders, the film is penetrating and insightful in shedding light on a highly misunderstood mental illness, while shattering misconceptions about ED through in-depth commentary from physicians, psychologists, clinicians, and ED and mental health experts. According to Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, Chair of Psychology at UC-Berkeley, "At least one-fourth of all U.S. teenage girls are suffering from self-mutilation, eating disorders, significant depression, or serious contemplation of suicide."

Startling facts include:

· 25 million Americans struggle with an ED
· 40% of newly-identified anorexia cases occur in girls aged 15-19
· Patients battling anorexia are up to 10x more likely to die as a result of their illness, and ED may have the highest death rate of any behavioral disorder
· Problems coping with ED can begin as early as ages 4-5
· Studies estimate that 60-70% of adolescent girls are dieting, and according to the NIMH 35-40% of dieters will develop an ED
· There is an average gap of 10 years between noticing symptoms of mental illness and getting treatment
· In the U.S., females have a 28% lifetime risk of major depression. With an ED, the risk is 70+%