We can’t do what we do without your help.
And with that help, we’ve done a lot. During the past year, we saw member growth reach new heights: 25 unique support and discussion groups, a robust mentorship program, a wide range of educational workshops and school-based presentations, and community building like never before.
EDF continues to expand its reach, connecting with individuals around the country and, yes, the world. We support a vast array of individuals, all with unique stories and needs.
Like you, we are often overwhelmed by the magnitude of illnesses and suffering, but we refuse to submit to pessimism or surrender to defeat. We believe that no one should have to walk this challenging path alone.
EDF has provided a platform to voice struggles and support, to connect individuals and bring about awareness of treatment options and education, to shift misinformed opinions about the illness and relieve the stigmas associated with these illnesses. We fill gaps in treatment and improve access to care, offering confidential support, education, and advocacy programs at no cost and on a walk-in basis.
The Eating Disorder Foundation (EDF) was founded in 2003 to meet a long-overdue need in the Denver mental health community, providing free support to those with eating disorders, those in recovery, and their family and friends. The Foundation has been growing steadily in its dual focus on education (breaking the silence) and support (rebuilding lives).
With initial funding of $1,000, the Foundation soon acquired donated office space in the Cherry Creek area of Denver, and made its public debut in 2005. With the help of a growing staff of volunteers, EDF began a statewide school program aimed at providing students at all age levels with vital information about the signs and dangers of eating disorders and about pathways to recovery. From its inception, education has been a cornerstone of the EDF approach because ignorance about the severity of this mental affliction is widespread, because the number of young people with eating disorders has grown all-too-fast and because most schools are ill-equipped to provide adequate support and education in this area. EDF took the next step in its development with the creation of a committee of local eating disorder treatment providers, The EDF Professionals. With the establishment of this group, the Foundation established a forum for professionals to connect and to provide one another with information about resources and educational opportunities. The group later evolved into the Denver Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals, which holds its board meetings and various events at EDF.
During the course of its history, EDF's annual operating budget has grown and its fund-raising activities -- including its annual Gala -- have had to keep pace. In 2012, EDF entered its greatest period of expansion, moving into its newly renovated facility in the Uptown/West City Park section of Denver and paving the way for the establishment of a more communal approach to eating-disorder support that has grown to include not only free support groups, but workshops and drop-in visits.
Dubbed "A Place of Our Own," EDF's home base has provided a safe and welcoming environment for those who suffer from eating disorders, as well as their families and friends. As vital as A Place of Our Own is to EDF's mission, the Foundation's horizons go well beyond Colorado. EDF maintains a national profile through its membership in the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp) and the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED).
Since its inception, EDF has given eating disorder presentations to more than 34,000 people in Colorado, primarily students and teachers; provided our signature Support Groups to thousands of people suffering from an eating disorder, their family and friends, and those in recovery; and played an instrumental role in passing Colorado Senate Bill 07-036, which gives eating disorders parity status for insurance purposes. EDF continues to be an advocate for accessible quality care.
In 2017, EDF began expanding its Signature Support Groups throughout Colorado. Then, as Covid changed the mental health landscape worldwide, we opened up our groups to serve people virtually. We now offer online support groups that meet a number of needs; alongside general support groups for people 18+, 30+, and 50+ struggling with disordered eating and body image, we now also offer groups for art journaling, family, friends, caregivers, men, people in recovery, people struggling with binge eating, adolescents, trans+ and nonbinary individuals, neurodivergent folx, BIPOC+ populations, and the LGBTQ+ community.
In an important sense, the history of The Eating Disorder Foundation is still being written. As the Foundation evolves it will continue to serve those with eating disorders and to break the silence surrounding this life threatening disorder. EDF will also continue to provide a supportive environment for all those who courageously set out to achieve and sustain healthier, more fulfilled lives.