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With a Plan to Make History, Timberline Knolls Takes Steps to Put Eating Disorders in the Past
Contact: Danielle Bickelmann, 214-521-8596, www.timberlineknolls.com
CHICAGO, Feb. 16  /Christian Newswire/ -- Timberline Knolls, a Chicago-based residential  treatment center for women suffering from eating disorders, substance abuse, self-injury and other emotional disorders, will fight "Until Eating Disorders are History;" the 2009 theme for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 21 – 28, 2009.

By organizing week-long activities designed to recognize the importance of awareness and education needed, Timberline Knolls hopes to help change the long-held social perception of eating disorders and will call attention to being free of negative body perceptions. The week will begin with such an activity, on Monday, February 23, when Timberline Knolls residents and staff will sign a Declaration of Independence in an effort to free people of the hurt and danger of eating disorders – and put the disorder in the past.

Many people are shocked to learn eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of all causes of death for females 15 to 24 years old.

"A thin body is perceived as a simple answer for acceptance and happiness," said Kim Dennis, M.D., medical director at Timberline Knolls. "The perception is that it is 'bad' to be overweight and everyone should strive to become thin," she said.

As a key activity during the week, Timberline Knolls faculty, staff and residents will take a bus to Springfield, where Dr. Dennis will testify before the Illinois House Executive Committee about the gravities of eating disorders and the steps toward realizing freedom from numbers on a scale as a measure of self-esteem. In return, the Illinois State Assembly will declare February 25 "Eating Disorder Awareness Day" in the state.

Other activities during the week will encourage freedom from negative body perceptions among the residents and staff of Timberline Knolls, such as one called "Mirror Mirror on the Wall" in which all mirrors throughout campus will be covered with positive affirmations.

Timberline Knolls helps women and adolescent girls work to achieve lifelong healing using the principles of 12-step recovery, strengthening them spiritually, emotionally and socially. By making spirituality an integral part of their treatment, residents gain a larger, more objective perspective on life, as well as a firm foundation for their recovery.

More information about the NEDA Week activities is available online at www.timberlineknolls.com or by calling 630-257-9600.

About Timberline Knolls
Timberline Knolls specializes in helping women and adolescent girls 12 and older, offering treatment for complex co-occurring disorders that can include self-injury behavior (SIB), substance abuse, eating and other affective disorders. For more information on Timberline Knolls and the services offered, visit www.timberlineknolls.com