WANA an eating disorder support group on campus is gaining new members each week.
Although WANA, which stands for We Are Not Alone, has on campus for three years, this year it gained new leadership along with new members. Kaila Bellinghausen, junior psychology and social work major from Amarillo, said, “It’s amazing because God is opening doors to help people heal.”
Bellinghausen, a leader of the support group, hosts meetings in her home every weekend. The group started as a result of a few girls around campus noticing they shared similar struggles and seeking community. They decided to start a group and meet weekly to support each other. The group began meetings with 5-7 girls and grew to nine attendees last week, expecting at least five more in the next few weeks.
The meetings have transitioned from regular support to a journey of recovery, giving the members tools and tips each week to carry with them as they heal.
WANA plans to continue weekly meetings every Sunday in Bellinghausen’s home. They are working on an awareness table in the campus center and hope to have an event in February during the National Eating Disorder Awareness week. In addition, Bellinghausen started a small group Chapel called Journey to a Confident You, which meets Thursdays.
WANA has partnered with SOAR and handed out business cards to the Medical and Counseling Clinic so struggling students, both men and women, can be referred to the group.
The support group has found multiple uses for their name, We Are Not Alone, but also using a play on words and saying, “WANA love your body.” Bellinghausen says her favorite part about this group is that they’re “a community of girls wanting to support one another in recovery and discovery of identity.”
Chris Riley, vice president of Student Life, said, “Student-led organizations that not only take on difficult topics but provide opportunity for support are essential in helping improve our campus community.”
Bellinghausen said WANA’s ultimate goal is to keep growing and reaching out to the ACU community.
For more information about WANA, email firstname.lastname@example.org