Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program

At the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program, our mission is to provide the highest quality patient care, clinical research, professional training, and public education.

Teen Mentor Program
Teen Mentors

2013-2014 Teen Mentors: (from left) Sophie Taibi, Dr. Emily Gray, Sarah Dahl

Our Teen Mentor Program, directed by Emily Gray, MD, offers adolescent girls the opportunity to learn the best ways to promote positive self-image. In meetings with our staff, the girls are exposed to mentoring workshops as well as an educational curriculum that covers various topics from culture and media to self esteem which has evidence to support the prevention of eating disorders as well as foster positive self image. These meetings also encourage the girls to discuss sources of stress in their own schools – such as bullying and pressure to achieve at the top level – that may dampen self-esteem. Then they create outreach and advocacy projects to address these issues as well as foster wellness; through this process, they strengthen their leadership and mentoring skills.

Our Teen Mentors have offered terrific feedback about the Program:

"I leave MGH feeling empowered knowing that I can be a voice of advocacy in my community. This program has been the perfect mixture of education, women's issues and leadership and there is a lot of freedom in the curriculum. Body image is a sensitive topic that all girls (and guys) think about but rarely talk about. Not only are we talking about body image and the thin ideal but we are doing something about it." [Maeve, age 16]

 

"The program is important to me because we get to work with an outside source in order to promote a positive body image that could potentially make a difference in our entire community. Last week, somebody I didn't know very well came up to me and thanked me for the work we've been doing within BB&N. That was the moment I knew this was bound to be a success, because regardless of how many people we influence, we've now influenced SOMEBODY, which is what makes the work we've been doing so fulfilling.” [Chloe, age 16]

Our Teen Mentor Program has grown in popularity and we anticipate that it will become a model program. We are thrilled that parents have expressed interest in setting up the Teen Mentor Program in other parts of the state.

Led by Dr. Gray, our 2014-2015 Teen Mentor Program is excited to welcome nominations of high school students who demonstrate leadership or mentoring qualities with an interest in promoting wellness and positive body image awareness through outreach and advocacy to join our prestigious teen mentor program.

To nominate a teen, please email Dr Gray at ekgray@mgh.harvard.edu.