Newswise — Reston, VA, June 3, 2020 – AED commends the Kentucky Senate and House and Governor Andy Beshear for passing a Bill that established the Kentucky Eating Disorders Council with the goal of raising awareness, providing education, and improving access to care for all Kentuckians with eating disorders. Kentucky is only the second state to have a state-approved eating disorder council, after the first was established in Missouri in 2010.
Melissa Cahill, citizen advocate, who worked on the Bill states, “The formation of this council is a step forward in improving the access to quality care for those that are diagnosed with eating disorders. I am hopeful that this will make a difference for those seeking care, and we can create a blueprint for other states to follow. I hope that the council can positively impact insurance coverage and strengthen the adherence to the federal Mental Health Parity law in Kentucky.” Mrs. Cahill credits devoted and compassionate legislators for filing and supporting the Bill, including Senator Julie Raque-Adams and House Representative Kimberly Moser, the Bill’s original sponsors, who advocated for getting this landmark legislation passed. According to the Bill, the council will be made up of a mental health and medical providers who specialize in working with eating disorders, individuals with lived experiences of eating disorders, researchers, and government officials. The council will work toward surveillance of eating disorders in the state, improving access to diagnosis and treatment, and support for eating disorder research endeavors, among other awareness and education programs in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Eating Disorder Council marks a commitment to furthering eating disorder treatment and education in the state, which is desperately needed. Five years ago, Kentucky did not have a single eating disorder treatment center in the state. Today, one such center exists, which provides outpatient and intensive outpatient levels of care: Louisville Center for Eating Disorders, founded and directed by Dr. Cheri Levinson, who is also an Associate Professor at the University of Louisville and worked to see this Bill passed. Dr. Levinson states, “I am grateful for the level of support our Congress and Governor provided for increasing access to more and better treatment for eating disorders in the state of KY. As a whole, our government recognized the huge need for the establishment of such a council to battle the state-wide epidemic of eating disorders. This council represents an immense step forward for the state, and the United States as a whole, in our fight to cure eating disorders and to provide high-quality care for every impacted individual and their families.”
About the AED
The Academy for Eating Disorders is a global and trans-disciplinary professional organization with more than 1,500 members from 47 countries worldwide. AED provides educational resources and platforms for professional dialogue, training, and collaboration through its publications, including the International Journal of Eating Disorders, annual International Conference on Eating Disorders, clinical teaching days and other programs. Visit www.aedweb.org for more information.