In the United States, turning “21” represents growing up, coming of age, and taking ownership of your identity as you embark on the next chapter of your life. We could not think of a more symbolic time than today, The Alliance’s 21st anniversary, to re-introduce ourselves to our community under our new name, the National Alliance for Eating Disorders.
Embracing our role as the leading national nonprofit organization providing education, referrals, and support for all humans experiencing eating disorders is long overdue. I founded The Alliance 21 years ago with the singular goal to help at least one person experiencing an eating disorder know that help is available, and recovery is possible. As a small, grassroots organization in Palm Beach County, Florida, we dedicated ourselves to raising awareness about eating disorders and providing education to our local community. Twenty-one years later, the services we provide, and the communities we reach have grown to be national in scope, reaching far beyond the South Florida area. It feels only right to have our name reflect who we are today.
We have been boots-on-the-ground over the past two decades providing tangible and accessible services to communities nationwide. We’ve worked tirelessly to raise awareness and eliminate the secrecy and stigma surrounding eating disorders; referred hundreds of thousands of people to all levels of care through both our free helpline and findEDhelp.com (our comprehensive referral website/app); advocated for legislative change on a local, state, and federal level to increase access to care; educated hundreds of thousands of healthcare providers and community members; developed a first-of-its-kind outpatient program providing low-cost care to underinsured/uninsured individuals; and supported those experiencing eating disorders and their loved ones on the journey to recovery.
In 2021 alone, more than 14,934 people from all 50 states and over 55 countries across the globe attended our free, therapist-led, virtual support groups. We provided more than 139,731 referrals to all levels of care, and more than 26,430 people have attended our educational trainings and outreach events. Our comprehensive services demonstrate our resolve to create change and make a positive impact, and it is important that our name honor the communities everywhere that are a part of the Alliance family.
As we start this new chapter as the National Alliance for Eating Disorders, know that we will always remain “The Alliance,” a community where you are always welcome, seen, heard, and supported. If you are experiencing an eating disorder, or if you are a parent, partner, professional, or loved one, we are and will always be here to walk alongside you on your journey. We are so thrilled to celebrate 21 years of bringing care, healing, and hope to communities across the nation.