The top floor of the Cox Health and Counseling Center was closed Wednesday morning, as counseling staff headed to the Wright Center for a three-hour training session on how to handle cases of disordered eating.
Employees from the Center for Balanced Living, an eating disorder treatment facility, provided the training, entitled “Introduction to Specialized Eating Disorder Care: Practical Neurobiology and Beyond.”
The training comes in the wake of revelations from last semester’s Healthy Minds survey. According to survey respondents, more Kenyon students show signs of disordered eating than the national college average. Thirty-six percent of survey respondents at Kenyon had positive CCAPS-34 screen results, which indicates an “elevated level of eating concerns.” Eight percent showed a mild level of eating concerns, and six percent reported a past diagnosis of disordered eating. Nationally, 34 percent of Healthy Minds respondents showed an elevated level of eating concerns, seven percent showed a mild level and four percent reported a previous diagnosis.
Director of Health and Counseling Chris Smith said that the training session has been in the works since June, when he began communicating with the Center for Balanced Living. Smith wanted to ensure that students could get help for disordered eating on campus as well as in Columbus, where the Center for Balanced Living is located.
“What we’re trying to do is help our staff and some of our community partners understand the basics of disordered eating, including assessment [and] what’s currently needed for treatment,” Smith said. “And in the case that a location like Kenyon can’t provide that, what’s the most direct route to get them referred to a treatment facility?”
The entire staff of the Counseling Center attended the training session, as well as the majority of Health Center nurses, all athletic trainers, Strength and Conditioning Coach Brett Worsham and Lifetime Fitness Coordinator Emily Heithaus.
Smith also invited local health organizations to attend the training. “Since we know that this is a shortage in Knox County, for us to bring something here for just our staff is kind of short-sighted,” he said.
Smith hopes that the training will better equip his staff and Knox County health professionals to help people who suffer from eating disorders. Those seeking more specialized care can schedule an appointment at the Center for Balanced Living, or receive more immediate help by calling Campus Safety at 740-427-5555 and asking to be connected to ProtoCall.