Body Image and Well-being: Physical and Mental

Maya Chebaro

In recognition of the International Mental Health Awareness Week in May, and in acknowledgment of the interdependence between psychology and biology, the Middle School Science Department joined efforts with IC Middle School Counselor, Ms. Diala Itani, in organizing a peer-facilitated discussion for grade 8 students on anorexia, bulimia, and obesity - eating disorders regarded as manifestations of distorted cognitive and unhealthy behavioral patterns. The discussion was mediated by Ms. Diala Itani who highlighted the importance of a medical and a psycho-therapeutic co-intervention needed to break a vicious cycle of distorted body image, negative emotions, and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Adolescents were described as one of the most vulnerable populations that can be affected by such disorders due to internal developmental changes they undergo and external pressures they often face from family, friends, society and social media. Students were encouraged to understand the biopsychosocial model used to analyze the situations of the affected individuals and offer strategies for providing a supportive environment that can help a person avoid or recover from the aforementioned disorders in particular and/or any other mental health disturbances in general.