When We Speak Up, We Are Heard

Britt Ahlstrom

A Reflection of the April 2013 Lobby Day

Paid lobbyists sway the minds of politicians. Unpaid lobbyists sway the minds of politicians even more.

That’s why the work of The Emily Program Foundation’s volunteers and our partner, the Eating Disorder Coalition, makes such a difference. On April 17th, we were just fifty individuals meeting with our representatives. But politicians know that for each citizen who contacts them (even by email or phone), there are hundreds of others who feel the same way and didn’t speak up.

Politicians want to do a good job. They care about their constituents. Some of them simply don’t know that eating disorders are a problem. They may not know that eating disorder sufferers are regularly denied treatment by their insurance companies. They may be unaware that researchers struggle to find funding, or that lives could be saved with the right prevention program.

Tell them.

Alone and silent, we are just individuals fed up with our culture’s emphasis on diets and the perfect body. Together in D.C., we are a force. We have a message – more must be done to support eating disorders research, treatment, and education. When we speak up, we are heard.

So contact your representative. Lobby with the Eating Disorders Coalition. Volunteer with The Emily Program Foundation. Your representative exists to represent you, so speak your truth.