Grantee News

October 2020

Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness

Liz Motta, LMHC, The Alliance’s Director of Education & Outreach, on the impact of JWF’s support

JWF supports The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness program, “Understanding the Impacts of Gender Based Violence on Mental Health and Eating Disorders,” which provides educational seminars for physicians and health care providers in Palm Beach County where participants learn to recognize and respond to the connection between eating disorders and gender-based violent trauma.

The Alliance’s Director of Education and Resources, Liz Motta, LMHC, has been reaching out to community organizations and healthcare providers to schedule free virtual presentations regarding trauma and eating disorders, tailored to meet the audiences’ needs. To date, they have provided presentations to staff of The Lord’s Place (“Eating Disorders and Trauma”), residents of The Lord’s Place women’s services programs (“A Conversation Around Eating Disorders, Setting Boundaries, and Rejecting Diet Culture”), and staff of the Center for Child Counseling (“Eating Disorders and Trauma”).

The Alliance has received great feedback from the individuals and professionals who have attended these trainings about gender based violence and eating disorders.

To date, 96% of participants have reported an increase in knowledge and 100% plan to incorporate the information provided into their materials/practice!

The Alliance is also deeply appreciative for support from JWF’s COVID-19 recovery fund, which helped provide emergency services to clients affected by the pandemic.

Through this support, they have been able to provide low-cost therapy to local individuals who are uninsured and underinsured, as well as free, clinician-led virtual support groups.

Additionally, The Alliance recently announced that Johanna Kandel, their Founder and CEO, has been appointed to the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) to represent people with lived experience.

Click here to read more about the ISMICC and Johanna’s appointment.


Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse

AVDA Staffer Matt, along with AVDA program participants, share their experience and gratitude

JWF supports AVDA’s youth education program, Commit to Change. Commit to Change helps create the social change necessary to reduce inequities and disparities within the community by empowering young women and mobilizing young men as allies in reducing violence against women and girls. It is critical to identify and address these disparities, which work against women’s empowerment, self-determination, and economic and gender equity, which is what Commit to Change seeks to do.

Through Commit to Change’s Community Action Team (CAT), AVDA engages young people in order to guide programming and lead community action. This year, the CAT had the highest participation yet in their virtual meeting, with seven program alumni in attendance. The students discussed utilizing various art and media channels to share prevention messaging. With the support of AVDA staff, they will be creating videos to share on social media, which in their words is “where everyone is.”

AVDA’s Commit to Change Prevention Initiative team, in collaboration with PBC’s Behavioral Health Coalition, and in an effort to increase conflict resolution skills and encourage healthy relationships among youth in Palm Beach County, was invited to host a virtual workshop entitled “Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution.” The workshop provided these teens with a safe space to share their experiences and exchange tools to enhance their skills to build and maintain healthy relationships.
Milagro Teen Center and Youth Empowerment Center:
Despite the closing of many community centers in recent months, AVDA’s Violence Prevention Educators were still able to provide ongoing prevention education to local community centers via Zoom. AVDA has been working with Milagro Teen Center in Delray Beach and Youth Empowerment Center in Lake Worth (YEC) since the summer of 2018 providing mentoring for young men through the MOST Club, teen dating violence prevention education, as well as media literacy and development to engage students in violence prevention materials. Through Zoom, teens engaged in conversations about remaining safe in relationships during the pandemic as well as recognizing the impact of media during the pandemic.

AVDA plans to continue to provide virtual platforms with youth serving agencies in Palm Beach County to help to increase awareness and education to promote healthy relationships.

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