Voice #1: The Sufferer: Why I need a mentor who has stood in my shoes and has recovered.
Voice #2: The Loved One: How the presence of mentors who understand my sufferer’s disease and my critical role in the process free me to practice good self-care even while offering appropriate support (sufferer and parental mentoring is addressed.)
Voice #3: The Clinician: How mentoring enhances my ability to effect positive change in the outcome of the recovery process (clinical and client mentoring is addressed.)
Voice #4: The Mentor: How “paying it forward” through mentoring gives meaning to the journey and sustenance to the recovery process.
Voice #5: The Mentoring Organization: Why the presence of organized mentoring-based communities removes barriers sufferers face to accessing quality support and care while building a grassroots community movement of empowered, motivated, educated, affected individuals advocating for change.
- Harnesses the impact of sharing personal stories by creating safe and appropriate outlets for such transmission to occur
- Challenges the allure of pro-eating disorders culture through introducing a pro-recovery alternative that provides positive peer pressure
- Manages the desire sufferers display to help others through the chance to transition from mentee to mentor as recovery progresses
- Eases the burden on untrained loved ones to provide support in between sessions
- Provides compassionate lay support for the supporters
- Eases shame, codependency, and enabling in the family unit through offering consistent validation and guidance from experienced lay peers with “street credit
- Introduces a safe and reliable means of providing the client with gap and transition coverage between levels of professional care
- Builds a legacy of excellence and mutual support in the professional eating disorders field through the successful application of clinical mentoring
- Provides the client with access to multiple channels to facilitate a “tell ‘em, tell ‘em, and tell ‘em again” atmosphere which reinforces the validity and effectiveness of recovery-based concepts introduced in session
- Offers a means of identity evolution in easing the transition from recovery to wellness while maintaining stage-appropriate recovery connections
- Facilitates recovery maintenance through access to connections with less-recovered persons who are striving to achieve sustained recovery
- Adds meaning and purpose to recovered life by providing an outlet to pass personal knowledge and experience on to others
- Harnesses the power of “paying it forward” in a format that is respectful of and welcoming toward different recovery experiences with a shared successful outcome
- Creates a freestanding yet structured means by which all participants in the support team may play to their strengths and specializations
- Facilitates an intelligent mechanism by which to create, affirm, and sustain communities working together to support those affected by eating disorders
- Presentation of research study results
Shannon Cutts currently serves as the executive director for MentorCONNECT, the first global eating disorders mentoring community. She is also the author of Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back, the first book written to outline the successful application of mentoring in an eating disorders recovery setting. Shannon is a survivor of a fifteen-year battle with anorexia and bulimia, and a frequent writer, speaker, and blogger on the subject of mentoring and recovery for Bulimia.com, PsychCentral.com, MentalHealthy.info, the Huffington Post, and others. Her work has most recently been featured in Glamour and Woman’s Day magazines.
Wendy Oliver-Pyatt, MD, CEDS, FAED has created treatment programs which are known for integrating compassion with science. She is an active clinician, educator, and advocate —having served as the AED Advocacy Committee Chairman, and as Co-author of the Academy for Eating Disorders Guidelines for Obesity Prevention. Her book, Fed Up!, has been featured in a wide variety of national publications including Family Circle, Marie Claire, and Psychology Today. She has received Senatorial Recognition for her work as a psychiatrist, serves the Board of Director of IAEDP and BEDA, and is actively involved with NEDA. Described as warm and caring, she passionately believes that effective treatment can lead to full recovery.
, Nealy Ann Kaminowitz, LMSW
Nealy Ann Kaminowitz-is a Licensed Master Social Worker and therapist at BALANCE eating disorder treatment center. Nealy is committed to volunteering and working with individuals suffering from an eating disorder, which led to her involvement with Reaching Out Against Eating Disorders (ROAED). Nealy is the Vice President of Support Groups, in which capacity she assesses all potential new clients for both the organization's recovery oriented support groups and mentoring program, is in charge of coordinating and training all new and interested support group facilitators and is a support group leader herself.
, Bharti Dunne, BA
Bharti Dunne serves as a volunteer mentor for mothers in Reaching Out Against Eating Disorders' (ROAED) mentoring program and sits on the board of the Western New York Eating Disorder Recovery Center. A mother of six, Bharti understands the dynamics of family life and is a powerful advocate for how adding a mentor to the treatment team for both sufferer and family members can positively influence the treatment outcome. A NEDA member and co-founder of Rochester Adolescent Mentoring Services (RAMS), Bharti is designing a pilot program with ROAED for parents and supporters whose family lives are affected by eating disorders.
and Andrea Roe, n/a
Andrea Roe is an eating disorders survivor, author and speaker whose mission is to show individuals struggling with an eating disorder that they are not alone and that recovery IS possible. Now that she is recovered, it is her passion to support others as they recover. Andrea sits on the Leadership Team of MentorCONNECT and oversees the Mentor2Mentor program. Andrea also travels internationally sharing her story. She is the author of You Are Not Alone – The Book of Companionship for Women Struggling with Eating Disorders Volume 1 & 2 and editor for the You Are Not Alone Support Letter.