Mark your calendar: Austin, September

Where will you be September 17-20, 2008?

I will be at the annual National Eating Disorders Association conference in Austin, Texas.

I've been told, by leaders in the field, that the missing element in getting more research and better public policy on EDs is families. Parents are often too beaten down, exhausted, alienated, or just plain mad while their child is in recovery - and afterward: just want to get back to normal life.

I believe that by staying involved, volunteering, being vocal, and making relationships we parents can influence policy and public opinion and funding. But we have to show up. Maybe not every day, or every event, or even more than once - but every time a parent shows up, it helps.

This conference is the biggest yearly event in the US, perhaps the world, and it is for everyone: families, clinicians, researchers. There are classes, events, documentary screening, and a chance for parents to meet the people who do the research, make policy, write books, talk to the media, and treat patients. Participants are very accessible and available to chat. People debate and discuss and comfort and share. If you care about the treatment of eating disorders, this is a chance to learn and to have your say.

This year, F.E.A.S.T. will be an exhibitor at the conference, so we'll be easy to find. I love meeting fellow parents, learning their stories, finding out what they want and what matters to them.

F.E.A.S.T. will also hold a membership meeting on Thursday afternoon - all parents are invited, as well as our Advisory Panel. This is a chance to actually meet in person some of the people we mostly "know" online.

Please come to Austin if you can. Come for a day or the whole conference. Come for yourself, and come to show that you care about these issues and that parents want to be part of the policy-making and thinking on eating disorders.


  1. Thanks for letting us know about this so much in advance, Laura. It makes it more possible to plan doing when we are also working.

  2. Does that mean you are coming?! Yay!

  3. I'd have to ask for a day off...likely can't get two (I already don't work Fridays, so might be able to get a Thursday off). It's a possiblity! I am certainly thinking about it...anyway, I've never been to Texas!

  4. It would be so wonderful to meet!

    All of you!

  5. Thanks. Ditto. The feeling is mutual.

  6. Whoops. My name didn't 'take' was me...anne.


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