(Joplin, MO) – A free art show highlighted the talent and lived experiences of local individuals who have struggled with body image issues or eating disorders. Ozark Center’s Innovative Solutions presented Reflections of Hunger: Disordered Eating and Body Image Through Their Eyes on June 2 at the Joplin Public Library.
“Art brings awareness, and that is sorely needed for those struggling with all forms of disordered eating and body image concerns,” said Dr. Jenny Copeland, licensed psychologist and director of Reconnect Eating Disorders Clinic at Ozark Center Hope Spring. “This art show is an invitation to step into their world without having to grasp the logic of it. This is an invitation to feel and understand, as I hope we all come to know that eating disorders are far more widespread than we often realize.”
Eating disorders significantly increased in both number and severity during the pandemic. Suffering from an eating disorder is a lonely existence and one dominated by difficult thoughts, emotions and actions that come along with it. Innovative Solutions is a program designed to educate and involve the community in recognizing behavioral health issues and supporting those who have them.
“Everyone knows someone with an eating disorder, and this art show will hopefully give our community a glimpse of what it is like,” said Dr. Copeland. “We hope to build upon the compassion that Joplin is known for and support these folks throughout our community. People can help by donating to local food banks, because oftentimes those with eating disorders don’t have enough food for recovery. They can also help by being a positive role model and celebrating bodies of all sizes and shapes.”
About Freeman Health System
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2020, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2020-2021. With more than 320 physicians on staff representing more than 80 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit freemanhealth.com.
About Ozark Center:
Ozark Center is based in Joplin, Missouri and has been an entity of Freeman Health System since 1996. It has been providing comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults and families since 1965 in an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from the Four States. Ozark Center continually looks for innovative ways to address the behavioral health needs of the community and promote awareness of behavioral health issues in an effort to eliminate the discrimination associated with it. For more information, visit ozarkcenter.com or call 417.347.7600.
Lisa Olliges, Freeman Health System
Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator