Eating Disorder Awareness Campaign in the most Remote Area of Pakistan. Eating Disorders don’t discriminate and affect many parts of society, and so everyone needs to be aware.
Providing the general population with basic Eating Disorders education/information contributes to the spread of accurate information; promoting awareness and tackling stigma and discrimination.
After much discussion, we decided that it’s important that this awareness and information, is provided in a variety of settings, to ensure that the most marginalised groups in society are reached, and that accurate information about Eating Disorders is reinforced from different sources.
We took our war against disorders to Pakistan. Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world. It is the 36th largest country in the world in terms of area. There is a knowledge gap in Pakistan regarding eating disorders. We don’t have statistics. Society’s and media’s focus on appearance can get people to becoming obsessed with dieting, weight loss, and body image. Ongoing tries to have an ideal body, media version of the ideal body, can turn into an obsessive and at times out-of-control behaviour. With the Help of a student of Cadet College Kohat, Qazi Muhammad Ali, we’ve launched a vicious awareness campaign in Pakistan. This is to prove to people a few things, and to dispel many myths associated with eating disorders:
Make no mistake, the effects of Eating Disorder on physical and mental health and on a family, are terrifying. No one knows for sure what the causes of Eating Disorders are-
We believe Eating Disorders education is an important step towards preventing the spread of Eating Disorders. Eating Disorders awareness also plays a vital role in reducing stigma and discrimination, which is fuelled by misunderstanding and misinformation. This not only has a negative effect on people suffering from Eating Disorders, but can also fuel the spread of Eating Disorders by discouraging people from seeking treatment. Having the correct information and acquiring the right education about eating disorders can help prevent an eating disorder from developing. Being informed can also ease the suffering of a person in the early stages of the illness and can reduce the stigma and misconceptions that often surround those who suffer from eating disorders.
The most common place for people to learn about Eating Disorders is at school, due to their capacity and universality. In order to reach as many people, we believe streets of KPK, mosques, sport stadiums are also an important setting for creating awareness about Eating Disorders. In KPK, we started off with the streets. Muhammad Ali spoke to normal people on the streets of KPK, and they responded with great enthusiasm and interest. There are certain variety of methods and materials that we will try to use to educate people about Eating Disorders, including radio & television, leaflets, billboards and many more.
We believe we all can make a difference.
Together we can help change the way people view Eating Disorders.
So the team of Men took to the streets of Islamabad. First Stop for Boys was the largest mosque in the capital city of Pakistan, beautiful Faisal Mosque.
They spoke to people at the Friday prayer about Eating Disorders. People didn’t know about Eating Disorders. After spending several hours at the mosque, and speaking to people about Eating Disorders, they said they were overwhelmed with the response. People listened with keen interest, and at the end, their response was overwhelmingly positive. They said they supported the war against eating disorders. They prayed for us, for the campaign and for those who suffer from eating disorders.
Our Campaign in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK)
Formerly known as North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), along the afghan border is one of the most challenging and hard to reach areas of Pakistan. The area has a low literacy rate and is a frequent target of drone attacks and terrorist attacks. The health problems in KPK are also many. We strongly believe in educating people to create awareness of Eating Disorders. People can detect the signs of Eating Disorder. Early detection means better prognosis. We also want to encourage people to give confidence to their children, and not to label them and taunt them on their weight. We want to create awareness of healthy eating and healthy life style. Pakistan is a country, a land of agriculture, fresh food is available.
The response in KPK has been amazing. People listened and wanted to know more.
On 14th August, on Pakistan’s Independence day, we will be creating the awareness of Eating Disorders at the Sports Stadium in Kohat. We hope to reach 10,000 people on the day. In order to encourage sufferers to seek treatment, we need to talk about eating disorders. A person who has an eating disorder (or is at risk of developing an eating disorder) can often feel high levels of shame, embarrassment, confusion and denial. As a result, that person may need guidance and support from those around them to take the first steps towards preventing or treating their illness.
We therefore \ hope this event and our awareness and prevention campaigns are an opportunity for the people of Pakistan to show their support for mental health & for us as a society to work together to bring awareness on eating disorders, and to bring the change for people suffering from an eating disorder. It’s a fact that eating disorders won’t just disappear, the more people learn about the causes and signs of eating disorders, the better we can help people suffering with it.