I’m excited to begin a new blog series here at F.E.A.S.T., offering snapshots into my own personal journey as a parent advocate and activist in the area of parenting and eating disorders. Mine is only one voice in an active advocacy movement, but as a specific voice and one that has been around now for some time now, I hope you’ll find it a useful window into what we do here at F.E.A.S.T. and how you, too, can be part of it.
As I begin this blog, I find it particularly significant that I sit here with one of my four screens broadcasting a live meeting at NIMH. F.E.A.S.T. was invited to the NAMHC Open Policy Session today but a scheduling conflict forced me to watch on the NIH Videocast here in my home office instead of being there. Yet that may say more about advocacy right now than anything else:
Virtual isn’t fake.
My name tag isn’t getting used, but our organization does show up at NIMH, the US’s top psychiatry experts, at least twice a year. I recognize the voices and faces on the screen because we show up and have relationships. We will be following up with some of those speaking over the next few months.
Multi-tasking is real.
I have a F.E.A.S.T. Task Force Chair meeting today to support, a check-in with an Academy for Eating Disorders TF Chair around one of our collaborations with them, andI have a new assistant staff member starting today from her office on the Pacific coast. I’m also on duty for our online chat. I have 15 other things on my to-do list today, as well. But I still get to attend this NIMH meeting!
Collaboration isn’t just about eating disorders.
I haven’t heard “eating disorders”: yet. Probably won’t, even in a 3.5 hour session on mental health. It doesn’t matter. ED advocacy requires a broader view of psychiatry and research and policy. I believe getting out of our cul-de-sac of thinking around eating disorders is essential.
So, a productive day here at the F.E.A.S.T. headquarters, despite terribly cold weather and working in my slippers in rural Virginia. And lovely to have you with me, and with F.E.A.S.T.