App provides eating disorder recovery tools and support for those who can’t access treatment

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An estimated two-thirds of the 30 million Americans with eating disorders never receive treatment because they can’t afford it, lack health insurance, and the stigma surrounding eating disorders. But, a team of health care professionals and tech engineers believe they may have found a way to bring support directly to those who need it.

The Recovery Record app was developed by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), Stanford University, and the National Institute of Mental Health to expand recovery resources for people living with eating disorders – especially in the early stages of realizing they have a problem.

“The app makes it easy for people to get help in the moment they recognize that they need it,” Claire Mysko, chief executive officer of NEDA said. “We want them to connect for help immediately, and this provides them with a simple way to do that.”

Since the launch of the application in February, NEDA says it has led to 50,000 people contacting the group’s helpline. The smartphone app is designed to allow those with eating disorders to log their meals, answer questions developed by healthcare professionals, and connect to professional treatment resources. The system is designed to help guide people through an eight-week recovery program.

The app’s tools and features can be a great resource for those who are just starting to take steps towards recovery, but the developers strongly caution that the app is not a replacement for professional in-person treatment and therapy.

“However, it is often years before people tell someone about their silent battle with eating disorders,” said Jenna Tregarthen, co-founder and chief executive of Recovery Road.  “With more than 80 percent of Americans now owning smartphones, we have an opportunity to provide immediate, private and evidence-based support. And we hope the app will break down barriers and empower more people to speak up and reach out as a result.”

Still, it is important to see that apps like Recovery Record could be a lifeline for those with few or no options for professional treatment. As NEDA explains, treatment for eating disorders can be highly expensive, especially when insurance refuses to cover treatment. NEDA estimates treatments can range between $50 to $500 per session, while some inpatient centers can cost up to $1,000 per day without insurance.

Apps like Recovery Record can help ensure that those who have been falling through the cracks in the past now have an informative, helpful, and positive resource to help them begin their own recovery.

If you are living with an eating disorder and ready to begin your own recovery, give Brookhaven a call at (888) 298-4673. We can answer any questions you have and help you find the best treatment plan for you. 

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