May 31,2016 (Toronto, ON) – In support of World Eating Disorders Action Day on June 2, Keanu Reeves and other cast members of an upcoming feature film about anorexia will appear in a public service announcement (PSA) that dispels myths about eating disorders.
The 90-second spot features Reeves and other actors from the soon-to-be-released drama, To The Bone, reciting the nine truths of eating disorders, including the fact that eating disorders are serious, biologically influenced illnesses — not personal choices.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Anorexia and Bulimia kill an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 Canadians per year, often going untreated despite the potential for full recovery. They affect as many as 70 million people worldwide, regardless of gender, age, racial and ethnic identity, ability and socioeconomic background.
“The first-ever World Eating Disorders Action Day sends a powerful message to policymakers across the globe on the need for action, underscores the fact that eating disorders don’t discriminate and at the same time gives hope for successful intervention,” says Amy Cunningham, co-founder of International Eating Disorder Action.
Events will kick off with a 30-hour Tweetchat-a-Thon under the Twitter handle @WorldEDday, using the hashtags #WeDoAct and #WorldEatingDisordersDay to promote awareness. In Ontario, landmarks including Niagara Falls, Toronto City Hall and the Mississauga Clock Tower will be lit in gold to mark the international day of action.
More than 200 organizations in 40 countries will participate in World Eating Disorders Action Day, including NEDIC — Canada’s National Eating Disorder Information Centre and operator of the country’s toll-free eating disorder helpline.
“NEDIC is proud to be part of this historic event,” says NEDIC Acting Director Suzanne Phillips. “Focusing global attention on eating disorders and the fact that recovery is possible will help us all, collectively, break down the stigma that so often prevents people from getting the help they need.”
The PSA featuring the cast of To the Bone will be released in conjunction with World Eating Disorder Awareness Day on June 2. The film itself stars Reeves, Lily Collins and Carrie Preston, and tells the story of a young artist suffering from anorexia who is pushed by an unorthodox doctor to confront her illness. Inspired by writer/director Marti Noxon’s own struggle with anorexia, it is scheduled for release in 2017.