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Saturday, May 28, 2022
The new student organization Project HEAL held their first coloring night, and will hold them bi-weekly, where they invite students to come and be educated about eating disorders and discuss body positivity.

The new student organization Project HEAL held their first coloring night, and will hold them bi-weekly, where they invite students to come and be educated about eating disorders and discuss body positivity.

New student organization promotes body positivity through relaxed group gatherings

The UW-Madison chapter of Project HEAL gathered Tuesday for the first of their bi-weekly coloring nights, where they create a comfortable space for people to discuss the thoughts of their bodies and eating disorders.

Project HEAL is a new organization to the UW-Madison campus. Their goal is to promote body positivity and openly discuss eating disorders as a group in a relaxed setting.

“Our mission is to end the stigma surrounding eating disorders and start a frank and open discussion about body image and mental health issues on campus,” Hillary Dadio-Perrone, founder of the UW-Madison Project HEAL chapter said. “We want to expose the idea of eating disorders and talk maybe shockingly and be really clear what an eating disorder is.”

The group plans to hold informal gatherings, such as the coloring nights, which will be held every other Tuesday in the George L. Mosse Humanities Building. So far, the six board members are the only permanent people in the group, but they hope to obtain regular attendees after this first evening of coloring.

Conversation about topics such as eating disorders will not be forced at the events, but the group hopes attendees will engage in those conversations. They also plan to host an expert who will talk about eating disorders and eventually hold a peer panel. The group posted a survey that asked responders to answer questions related to stress, which they will later discuss in an article, and will show that people all worry about the same thoughts, and they will advise them how to calm down.

Project HEAL is a national organization that was started by two women in 2008. Their goal is to raise money to provide grants to individuals who are suffering from eating disorders and cannot afford treatment. Bailey Immel, the student outreach coordinator for UW-Madison’s Project HEAL, said that their group will raise money to give to this cause while also educate students about eating disorders.

“Our goal is being able to make [eating disorders] not a bad word,” Immel said. “We want people to know what resources are available to them on and off campus, and we want to be able to contribute to the grants in a significant way.”

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