Assistant Director of Clinical Services Samuel S. Lample at Remuda Ranch treatment centers for eating and anxiety disorders spoke on campus Feb. 25 and 26.
Lample has spent nearly nine years working with children, adolescents and families who are recovering from an eating disorder and also spent 18 months developing and directing ReddStone, a program for boys with eating disorders.
“I started fresh out of grad school at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. after studying counseling,” he said. “About two years ago, Remuda opened ReddStone, and we had 24 boys, ages 8-17. It is what piqued my interest for males with eating disorders.”
Lample has authored or co-authored several articles on eating disorders . He believes males need to develop an emotional language.
“It is time for men in our culture to become emotionally literate and put off the typical stereotype of man as having to be a strong, silent, stoic and an
unemotional rock,” Lample said. “This world is too relational, and a man needs to feel comfortable with words in order to connect with the world around us.”
Health Services Coordinator Debbie Rosenberger said she wanted Lample to speak because the issue is present on every college campus.
“UMHB is part of the real world too (and) eating disorders are present here,” she said. “If you think someone has an eating disorder, get it out in the open. It can be a relief for many people who need help.”
Director of Counseling, Testing and Health Services Nate Williams said, based on UMHB statistics, the counseling department has at least two people with an eating disorder on its client list.
“In my opinion, that number is a lot lower than what it really is,” Williams said. “Any student can come and seek us for counseling for his or herself or someone they know.”
Based off various studies, Lample said one million males in the U.S. suffer from eating disorders and 25 percent of those cases are in pre-adolescent males.
“It is more common for women to experience them but males do too, and I think that people forget that,” he said.
He advises seeking help from family members.
“If you feel like you personally have an eating disorder, you need to tell a responsible person in your life,” Lample said. “Next, go to your personal
caregiver and then get counsel.”
Rosenberger said the university has many resources.
“Students can use the UMHB intranet and go to the Health Center site,” she said. “By clicking on the student health care link, a list of different health
options are available, including eating disorders. “
Williams said any student has eligibility for eight free counseling sessions through the university. If further counseling is needed, students can pay $10 a session or the school will help them find someone in the community to speak with.
“Disordered eating is a gateway to an eating disorder,” Williams said. “Good solid counseling is great for that. For more severe cases, in-patient treatment will work best.”
The university hosts an eating disorders anonymous group Thursdays at noon in the library.
Lample said eating disorders are often rooted in the inability to control emotions.
“It is an avoidance-based coping mechanism,” he said. “People focus on their body as opposed to whatever emotional pain was there to begin with.”
However, he said there is a way out of the unhealthy habit.
“We live in a world that is full of pain and some people spend more time than they need to there,” Lample said. “The first step is to seek help.”