School-Based Eating Disorder Prevention Program

Developing Healthy Relationships With Food, Exercise, Self and Peers

The Walden Center’s school-based program is designed to inform and empower all members of the school community in the prevention of eating disorders, based on evidence-based best practices.

Participants acquire the skills and knowledge to build resiliency in the face of unrelenting societal and internal pressures, and help the people they care about. We want our students to understand what a healthy relationship with food and exercise looks like, and to be part of building and maintaining a healthy school climate.

We accomplish this through:

  • The teaching of up-to-date facts, trends, and the dispelling of common myths
  • Cognitive dissonance exercises aimed at reducing the risk factors of internalizing the “thin ideal” and body dissatisfaction
  • Activities that help to build healthy connections
  • Encouragement of the use of national and local resources
  • Education and practice of healthy coping skills.
  • Ample time for group discussion and questions

Empowering Individuals To Talk About and Recognize Disordered Eating Behaviors

A key component of the program is empowerment – helping kids and adults feel more confident and comfortable discussing and voicing their concerns about disordered eating behaviors (whether their own or someone else’s). We believe that when members of a community better recognize behaviors of concern and intervene early, an individual’s chances of recovery are greatly increased.

Age appropriate topics, engaging teaching methods and flexible scheduling are the foundation of each “tailor-made” program. Take home materials are provided for all participants.

Schools we’ve visited include:

Arlington Public Schools – Arlington, MA
Billerica Public Schools – Billerica, MA
Burncoat Middle School – Worcester, MA
Cambridge Alternative School – Cambridge, MA
Cambridge School of Weston – Weston, MA
Cameron Middle School – Framingham, MA
Cathedral High School – Springfield, MA
Cheshire Academy – Chesire, CT
Dracut Middle School – Dracut, MA
Dracut High School – Dracut, MA
Claremont Academy – Worcester, MA
Fontbonne Academy – Milton, MA
Framingham High School – Framingham, MA
Framingham Public Schools – Framingham, MA
Friends Academy – Dartmouth, MA
Gloucester Public Schools – Gloucester, MA
Haddam Killingworth High School – Higganum, CT
Hampshire Regional High School – Easthampton, MA
Lowell Public Schools – Lowell, MA
Maimonides School – Brookline, MA
Manchester Memorial High School – Manchester, NH
Mansfield Public Schools – Mansfield, MA
Marblehead High School – Marblehead, MA
McCall Middle School – Winchester, MA
Monadnock Waldorf School – Monadnock, NH
NE School Nurses – Reading, MA
Northampton High School – Northhampton, MA
North Andover High School – North Andover, MA
Peabody Public Schools – Peabody, MA
Quabbin High School – Barre, MA
Reading Public Schools – Reading, MA
Rising Tide Charter School – Plymouth, MA
Sullivan Middle School – Worcester, MA
Westbrook High School – Westbrook, CT
Winchester Coalition – Winchester, MA
Worcester Academy – Worcester, MA
Worcester East Middle School – Worcester, MA

What they are Saying

“Thank you for coming to our class. Your time meant a lot to all of us. Eating disorders aren’t talked about enough and what you do is amazing. Thank you for sharing your stories with us and for listening to mine.” – K.B., Grade 9

“Thank you so much for teaching my class more about eating disorders…I feel more comfortable taking about it now. I can finally help friends who are struggling with their weight and body image. You are a good teacher and I hope you keep on inspiring kids.” -K., Grade 9.