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Volume 72, Issue 101, Tuesday, February 27, 2007

News

CAPS offers free testing

Event will help students recognize, 
find professional help for eating disorders 

by ASMA SIDDIQI 
The Daily Cougar

Counseling and Psychological Services will reach out today to students possibly suffering from potentially deadly eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. 

The event, "How to Help a Friend with an Eating Disorder," will provide information about how to recognize symptoms of eating disorders. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Wellness Center.

"Even if you don't think you have eating issues or anything like that, it's still a good screening," Lynyetta Willis, a doctoral psychology intern for CAPS, said.

Screenings for the disorders will start at 10:30 a.m. A confidential questionnaire will be offered, along with opportunities for private consultation from a physician. 

Counselors will be on hand in cases of urgent need, Willis said.

Women aren't the only ones who suffer from eating disorders, she said.

Hundreds of thousands of males are affected by these disorders, Health Center head nurse Laura Moore said, and 10 percent of patients suffering from such illnesses are males. 

"Approximately 10 million females and 1 million males suffer from an eating disorder at any given point, so it's very, very prevalent among men," Willis said.

Eating disorders start with emotional and psychological issues, which can be treated with professional counseling.

A sufferer's physical health can be affected if an eating disorder is left untreated.

The Health Center offers assistance in diagnosing and treating eating disorders, Moore said. A psychiatric clinic with two full-time psychiatrists and a psychiatric nurse are available. After diagnosis, a student can receive counseling at CAPS and medical aid from the Health Center. 

"People need to know they are not alone and they are not the only ones who suffer from mental and physical disorders," Moore said. "There is help available on campus in a wide variety of places, and they can seek treatment and get better." 

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