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Program helps colleges screen for eating disorders

January 25, 2011
by News release
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Chicago — In an initiative to increase student understanding about eating disorders and help absorb the extra demand placed on college counselors, Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center has teamed with Screening for Mental Health (SMH) and founder Doug Jacobs, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical and president and CEO of SMH, to become a major national supporter of the organization's on-campus screening program, CollegeResponse.

The Timberline Knolls/CollegeResponse partnership plans to increase the number of college students obtaining screenings for eating disorders, either in person or online through the CollegeResponse website. This partnership coincides with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week taking place Feb. 20-26. The National Eating Disorders Screening Program (NEDSP), developed by SMH, is typically utilized by colleges and universities around this time. The NEDSP educates and screens students for eating disorders and connects those at-risk with local resources.

Eating disorders among college students are a serious health concern. With consequences ranging from chronic health problems to death, many who suffer from eating disorders will often do their best to conceal them. "College is a time when eating disorders present themselves," said Dr. Kimberly Dennis, MD, Medical Director at Timberline Knolls. "While the start of college is usually a memorable event for many young people, for others, it can be a stressful period that triggers a dangerous battle with an eating disorder, making this work, spearheaded by SMH, all the more critical and necessary to educate and ultimately save lives."

SMH programs—provided both in-person and online—educate, raise awareness, and screen individuals for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, alcohol use disorders, and suicide. Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center is a private residential treatment center for eating disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction and mood disorders, with or without trauma, a dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder.