Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mental health and healthcare reform

A blog post today at the Huffington Post by Representative Patrick Kennedy sheds light on issues of importance to the EDC community: In Reforming Our Health Care System, We'd Be Crazy to Ignore the Mind.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Interested in Health Care Reform? If so, the Hill is THE place to be this summer!"

Written by Kathleen MacDonald, Policy Assistant

"Have you ever read an epic novel, oh say, "Gone With The Wind", and found that you really dug the length of the novel --all 1,037 pages of it? Well, if so, then may we suggest some comparable reading? "America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009", the House version of this the "Health Care Reform" bill keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last page! (page 1,018 to be exact.)

Well, OK --maybe the "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009" doesn't "keep you on the edge of your seat" and maybe it might never be remembered for a singular line comparable to, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" --but I promise you every page matters to us!

Yesterday Jeanine and I visited offices of some Members of the House to talk about the FREED Act (HR 1193)and then dropped in on the hearings for 'Health Care Reform' (the short-and title referring to "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009"). We sat in on the Education and Labor Committee hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building. We happened to walk in during the debates centered on the potential "public health insurance option". Interesting were the statements from Members who described some of the disconnects currently present in Medicare and how that might transfer to the "public health insurance option" currently laid out in this draft of the bill. One of the most notable comments came from Congressman Andrews (with whom we'll follow-up directly) who detailed the unnecessary, yet continuing, reality of patients who face re-admission to hospitals/treatment centers because of the lack of proper care. He noted the particular reason for the high number of re-admissions as: lack of adequate (including length of stay) treatment. I think Jeanine and I were about to jump up and down shouting, "Yes! Yes --we 'get' that! People with Eating Disorders deal with this ALL the time!!"

I left the hearing curious to know: How many of you know someone who was prematurely discharged from eating disorder treatment due to lack of adequate care, only to need readmission at a later date? We'd love to hear from you on this, so please feel free to comment --and feel free to forward this blog post onto others!

We're looking forward to attending more hearings and mark-ups and will keep you posted as we do.

from Capitol Hill

Monday, July 13, 2009

43 Organizations support FREED

Dear friends -

We continue building momentum for the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders Act (the FREED Act) and look forward to your assistance in garnering even more support.

We are excited about the 43 undersigned organizations that actively support the FREED ACT by signing onto a letter to Congressman Kennedy thanking him for his leadership on this bill and urging its passage.

If you know of an organization that is not on this list - please speak to their leadership and urge them to support the bill as well. They can email me at requesting that we add their organization to the list of supporters. THANKS!!!!!!

AABA (American Anorexia and Bulimia Association) of Philadelphia
Academy for Eating Disorders
Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness
A Chance to Heal
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
American Counseling Association
American Group Psychotherapy Association
American Mental Health Counselors Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychoanalytic Association
American Psychological Association
American Psychotherapy Association
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare
Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA)
CEDAR Associates
Center for Change
Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt
Center for Clinical Social Work/ABE
Eating Disorders Center of Denver
Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action
Eating Disorder Hope
Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center
Emily Program and Emily Program Foundation
FREED Foundation
G├╝rze Books, LLC.
International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals
Maudsley Parents
Mental Health America
Monte Nido Treatment Center & Affiliates,
Multiservice Eating Disorders Association
National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems
National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations
National Eating Disorders Association
National Foundation for Mental Health
Ophelia’s Place
Rader Programs
Remuda Ranch
Suicide Prevention Action Network
The Renfrew Center Foundation
US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July Updates from the Junior Board

Happy July from the EDC Junior Board! Our inaugural fundraising efforts are well underway and our Junior Board is working diligently to raise awareness and funds on behalf of the Eating Disorders Coalition. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting exciting events and shopping opportunities happening all over the country.

Here are just a few to kick things off…

If you are live in or close to Washington D.C area:

Jr. Board Members Jamie Larson and Allie Moore will be hosting “Cocktails for a Cause” on Wednesday July 29th at 5pm at Wisdom Cocktail Lounge. Admission ($15 in advance, $20 at the door) includes a hand pressed cocktail, a raffle ticket (prices from area restaurants, yoga studios, spas and more), and free appetizers. In addition to the raffle, a live auction will be taking place as well. All proceeds from the event will go to the EDC.

Also, join Jamie L. as she teaches a community yoga class at Capitol Hill Yoga in support of the EDC Friday, July 10 from 5:00-6:15pm. No class payment is required however we ask that all give a donation of your choosing to benefit the EDC.

Calling all Knitters:

As the Renfrew librarian, Jr. Board Member, Eileen Binckley has been watching patients at Renfrew do lots of knitting while in treatment. Being a knitter herself, Eileen has decided, as part of her fundraising efforts, to sell hand-knitted scarves to benefit the EDC. She is looking for some volunteer knitters that would be willing to help. If you love to knit or have a family member/friend that does, please let her know! You can contact Eileen at

And of course, we hope to see you all on September 24th for Lobby Day. Come join us in building further momentum around the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders Act (FREED), the first eating disorders legislation to comprehensively promote research, treatment, education, and prevention programs

On behalf of the Junior Board, we wish you and your families a very happy and healthy holiday weekend. Take good care and be well.

In good health, Johanna Kandel.