June 2017

Those who suffer from eating disorders within the LGBT community have a place to find support in Amherst.

Roughly 30 million people across the country suffer from eating disorders. Many of them are within the LGBTQ community.

That’s inspired Walden Behavioral Care in Amherst to launch a program that specifically serves LGBT members. It’s the only program to do so in New England.

These services include psycho-educational groups, communication classes, art therapy, and counseling. Assistant Program Director Joanna Imse told 22News the risk of developing an eating disorder is higher in the LGBT community.

“The goal is to give people a safe space to say, this is a space where we can talk about challenging topics,”Imse said. “We can talk about what it’s like to not only deal with an eating disorder, but also to be somebody who identifies with the LGBTQ continuum.”

Imse said 14 percent of all transgender college students report having an eating disorder.

The clinic is located at 100 University Drive in Amherst.