October 2015 - Monthly News & Tips
IN THIS ISSUE
"The Emily Program has helped me a lot. Mostly because I am a kid and usually these don't make a whole lot of sense." - A Former Emily Program Client
As 2015 comes to an end, it's time to self-check your health care benefits.
Ask yourself these three important questions.
Have you used your benefits to their fullest?
If your insurance includes a deductible or out-of-pocket maximum, it's likely you have hit the limit for this year. If so, any care you get now will cost you less out of pocket – or may be completely covered by your insurance company. Now is the time to reconsider any recommended health care services you may have put off due to a deductible or co-insurance.
Will you be leaving money on the table when the year ends?
Is there a balance in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? Start thinking of ways to use these pretax dollars to pay for qualifying medical expenses you may have delayed. Remember, unused funds expire at the end of your benefit period so it's important to use them before they're gone.
Is your plan still right for you?
Examine your coverage during open enrollment at your workplace or on the state health exchange. Many health insurance plans re-set in the new year. Make sure the new plan is right for you. Even if your plan isn't changing and you're happy with your coverage, make sure your health care provider remains in network and that your plan comprehensively covers the treatments you rely upon now or may need in the future. (The Emily Program's insurance verification tool can help with that conversation.)
We encourage you to take an active role in managing your health care.
Although eating disorders generally begin in adolescence or early adulthood, they can present at a wide variety of ages. In fact, there are many adults midlife or older who have active and life-threatening eating disorders.
The most prominent reason for this is that effective eating disorder treatment is a fairly recent phenomenon. Anyone over 35 or 40 almost certainly did not have access to effective evidence-based care when their illness began. Even now, access to centers with this up-to-date care is quite limited. Therefore, there is a large group of individuals who have moved into adulthood with an ongoing eating disorder that has never been effectively treated.
There also is another group, albeit somewhat smaller, who develop eating disorders as adults — comprising about 10 percent of sufferers.
But for the most part, middle-aged adults or older have had an eating disorder for many, many years before they present for effective treatment. Often this group of clients has more serious medical complications, including heart, kidney or other organ damage, more psychological problems and is at greater risk than their younger counterparts.
Since The Emily Program – Cleveland opened a new residential site in our community earlier this year, we've seen the significant demand for people who require around-the-clock care. As part of its opening, we now can address those older adults who have suffered for a long time and require significant care to begin their journey to recovery.
Many people who have suffered from an eating disorder for a long time are hopeless that they can get better. The eating disorder has been a part of their life for such a long time that they can't imagine life without it.
But, our experience has been clients can get help at any age. By matching them with the appropriate level of care, treating their medical complications and psychological manifestations of the eating disorder, there is hope for all that suffer regardless of their age.
Mark Warren, MD
Chief Medical Officer, The Emily Program
The Emily Program addresses common misunderstandings about eating disorders and related issues in our Did You Know section.
Eating disorders can be genetic.
Research offers strong evidence that genetic factors contribute to a predisposition toward developing an eating disorder. In simpler terms, eating disorders are partially biologically inherited and may run in families. In fact, individuals that have a family member with an eating disorder are 7 to 12 times more likely to develop one themselves.*
We know that eating disorders have no single origin. In addition to genetics, there are several other factors that may provide a confluence of events for developing an eating disorder, including personality traits, biological make-up, traumatic events, sociocultural ideals, among others.
Currently, Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) is doing research to better understand the genetic variation that may be connected to eating disorders. This is the largest research study ever conducted and spans the globe. To participate in this study or learn more, click here.
*This information was gathered from The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt.
Laura Savat, Community Outreach Specialist
Laura Savat joined our team this past spring as a community outreach specialist in our Minnesota market.
Laura's main role at TEP is reaching out to both eating disorder providers and community members about how our services can benefit their clients, friends, family and even themselves, in some cases. What she likes best about her role is the fact that it looks different every day.
One day Laura may be out in the community sharing TEP materials and the next day coordinating a continuing education event for providers or attending a conference to educate attendees about TEP and its programs. She may even be found meeting with an individual that is eager to share their recovery story with the community to promote hope.
"The work is so rewarding," Laura says. "Being able to lay down at night knowing I may have reached even one more person that could benefit from TEP's services makes it all worth it."
Learn more about Laura and why we think she stands out!
TEP: When talking to folks in the community, what's one surprising thing you hear?
Laura: I hear all the time, "I wish I had an eating disorder." I don't think anything frustrates me more. Many people are uninformed about the seriousness of eating disorders and the struggles that go along with them. It entices me to get out and educate the community.
TEP: What's another fact you feel the community needs to be educated on?
Laura: I think people need to know how serious eating disorders can be and that they are not a shameful thing, and most importantly, people DO get better.
TEP: Favorite part about Halloween?
Laura: I'm in a new neighborhood this year, so I am excited to meet more of my neighbors and see the kids' costumes.
In St. Paul, MN:
Tuesday, October 13 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at 2265 Como Ave, St. Paul, MN
Speakers: Kelly and Lauren
Kelly: Kelly had her first eating disorder thought in 8th grade. Years went by where she wasn't consciously engaging in the disorder. She struggled with alcoholism, but has been in recovery for five years. She engaged in over exercise with lots of restriction and was finally diagnosed with anorexia. She reached out to her family when she realized she had a problem. Then she started treatment at The Emily Program. Once she got in and started recovery her life dramatically changed for the better.
Lauren: Lauren feels we are constantly in recovery ... from a hurt feeling,an awkward situation,a damaging relationship, or even one just breaking up. She believes we are surrounded by "things" that we "need" recovery from. The challenge is realizing what grace can be brought to the process. Lauren hopes to use what she learns to benefit taking care of herself so that she might contribute to others.
Join us the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 6:30-8 p.m. to hear stories of inspiration and hope.
In Cleveland, OH:
Recovery Night will take place in December. More information to come.
In Lacey, Seattle, and Spokane, WA:
Upcoming Recovery Nights will be held in 2016. Dates to be determined.