According to the Strategic Education Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders, more than 10,000 people die each year from eating disorders.
JACKSONVILLE, Florida — A new opportunity is available for people struggling with what is reportedly one of the most deadly mental illnesses.
The Koru Spring Eating Disorders Treatment Center in Jacksonville accepts female patients and saves lives. According to the Strategic Education Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders, more than 10,000 people die each year from eating disorders.
“I can get really lonely,” Koru Spring Clinic director Heidi Graber said of her struggles with her eating disorder. “I think one of the things that we’re really acknowledging is that no one has to go through this alone.”
Nearly 30 million Americans struggle with eating disorders, according to the National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders. They report that more than a quarter of them attempt suicide.
Koru Spring’s chief medical officer, Dr. Lanti Jorandbi, says that a few years ago, women had to be extremely ill to be admitted to the center, but this is no longer the case, especially at Koru Spring.
“Standardly, the cultural perception of eating disorders has been about a teenage girl struggling with her body,” Jorandby said. “But what we learn and what we know is that it persists throughout life. It could be the fight of a lifetime.”
Koru Spring is the newest branch of the Lakeview Health Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center. The center has 26 beds, and shortly after opening, one-third was filled. Jorandby says it’s important to recognize the signs of an eating disorder.
“Typically, if they fixate a lot on their body image, that’s a big part of it,” she said. “They can be obsessed with what they eat and they are very careful with calories. Compulsive exercise is another warning sign when they spend one to two hours exercising a day.”
Jorandby encourages you, or someone you’re concerned about may have an eating disorder, to talk to your healthcare provider if you don’t have a mental health consultant.
Less than 6 percent of people with eating disorders are medically underweight, according to the National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders.
Find a mental health treatment near you here. Learn more about the signs of an eating disorder here.