This week on campus is “Love Your Body” week to acknowledge National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. On Tuesday, Feb. 25 the Wellness Center showed the movie Someday Melissa to raise such awareness.
Someday Melissa is a documentary based on a girl named Melissa Avrin, who battled bulimia for five years before dying at the age of 19 in 2009. This documentary focused on Melissa’s battles with the disease and the obstacles she had to overcome. Points of view from her mother, father and older brother were displayed as well as her friends that tried to help her through this awful time.
Melissa’s eating disorder started when she was just entering eighth grade at 14 years of age. Her family had no idea anything was wrong for almost a whole year.
Once she was diagnosed they put her into facilities to help her get better, eventually leading to her mother and father hiding all the food because she would take it all.
Her mother explained how she had to literally take all of the food out of the house and lock a box of cereal away just to be able to have something quick before she went to work in the morning. Viewers also learned how Melissa’s mother had her own battle with bulimia for 25 years.
Melissa was sent away to several facilities to help her get better and for a little while they succeeded.
She met friends along the way that tried to help her through the hard times she was facing, but unfortunately Melissa was too sick to recover. In May of 2009 Melissa’s mother walked into Melissa’s room and she was unresponsive. She had died from a heart attack.
Melissa had been accepted into Emerson College and was looking forward to attending in the fall even though it was a far off dream for someone as sick as her.
This tragic story was meant to capture a greater message that “Love Your Body” week is trying to send. The Counseling Center is available for students who are battling with self-image problems.
“We like to show a documentary on some type of eating disorders to shed light on something that people might be going through just to kind of give students some tools and resources,” said graduate student Jessica Blasioli, who put on the viewing. “We also try and do something on mindful eating just because it plays well with being healthy.”
“It showed a girl our age battling with an illness that is so terrible and it was interesting to see how there are so many people out there that hide their disorders and you have no idea,” said sophomore attendee Bridget White. “There are so many people who aren’t aware that this is going on, so it is really something that people need to open up about more even though it is hard, [because] it could potentially save your life.”
The Counseling Center always has at least two staff members on duty and is open to all students. It is important to know that this is available for people who may be struggling or need someone to talk to. The Counseling Center is located in the Health Center and can be reached by phone at (413) 748-3345.