With this year’s theme It’s Time to Talk About It!, NEDAwareness Week is the non-profit group’s largest national outreach campaign to raise consciousness about the realities and seriousness of these illnesses, they knew it was the perfect time to invite others to talk about it too.
Commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA, “The idea behind the PSA competition was to give entrants a voice and ask them to create a PSA – focused on a positive, thought-provoking, creative message – asking, ‘How would you talk about it?’ There was a time when eating disorders were silent illnesses and that didn’t help anyone. We encourage people to give voice to their struggles, talk about it and reach out for help as soon as possible. Gratefully, that is happening more and more today and as a result of this contest, we now have some terrific PSAs to help us in our efforts to spread the messages of help and hope. Our respondents were thoughtful and creative, making it difficult to select just three winners. We thank everyone who entered the contest.”
Winners were selected by a NEDA Celebrity Media Judges Panel, including: George Larrimore, managing editor of Access Hollywood; Whitney Thompson, the first plus-sized winner of America’s Next Top Model; Jean Kilbourne, an internationally recognized, award-winning author (So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do To Protect Their Kids) and documentarian (Killing Us Softly, Slim Hopes); and the board members of NEDA.
Grand Prize Winner: “Perceptions,” submitted by Savannah Dickson, Lexington, Ky.
To see the winning video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idJd3VTIoPQ
Dickson, 16, Lexington, Ky., feels fortunate to have won her battle with anorexia and bulimia. While she has good and bad days, she is now healthy and thriving. Her struggle began at 12 and two years later doctors told her parents she had just weeks to live. Today, she’ll graduate high school early and has landed a full college scholarship. To help and support other girls struggling, she founded the “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body” club, members of which are featured in her winning PSA.
1st Prize Winner: “The Letter,” submitted by Kent Jones, Edmond, Okla.
To see the winning video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXHhSEBhuT0
Jones, Edmond, Okla., a radio and video/film producer, drew inspiration for his winning PSA from his daughter, Melanie, whom he’s thankful is now recovered from a six-year battle with anorexia. A straight-A student with a drive for perfection, Melanie began having a myriad of physical and emotional problems at 14 … but the issue went undiagnosed by multiple doctors. Finally, Melanie herself came to her parents. In an eye-opening letter, she confessed her struggle, expressed her desire to live and asked for help. Now 20, Melanie still struggles but is doing well in college and enjoying a passion for photography.
2nd Prize Winner: “Self-Esteem: Breaking the Status Quo,” by Paula Cruz, Bellevue, Wash.
To see the winning video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlt68kHVYh4
Cruz, 18, Bellevue, Wash., says what you see in her winning PSA is what she sees everyday—friends putting themselves down, criticizing every flaw. Self-loathing has become the norm and Paula wants to do her part to get people to change their attitudes to positive ones and see the real beauty in each of them. With help from her video editing instructor at the local Boys & Girls Club, Paula created her PSA in the hope that her message will help others struggling with eating disorders and negative body image.
The Grand Prize winner will receive round-trip, coach airfare to New York City, two nights hotel stay, $200 in prize/travel money and will be recognized at NEDA’s annual benefit dinner, April 7, where the PSA will be debuted. The 1st Prize winner will receive a $100 prize; and the 2nd Prize winner will receive a $50 prize. All three PSAs are featured on NEDA’s website and will be shown at NEDA’s annual conference, Oct. 13-15, in Los Angeles; and will be made available to media outlets and other organizations.
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Seattle, Wash. NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders; serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care; and advocates for legislation and research funding. Each year, NEDA helps thousands of people across the country find appropriate treatment through its toll-free, live helpline and aids countless others through its website. NEDA envisions a world without eating disorders. For more information, visit NationalEatingDisorders.org.
For Treatment Referrals, Visit NationalEatingDisorders.org
Or Contact NEDA’s Live Helpline: 800-931-2237
Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (PST)