The Need for the Eating Disorder Association of Maine

An estimated 10 million females and 1 million males are battling eating disorders according to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Eating Disorders Association. Anorexia nervosa has the highest fatality rate of any mental illness in the country.

  • 40% of newly identified cases of anorexia are in girls 15-19 years old, and the incidence continues to increase.

  • The mortality rate associated with anorexia is 12 times higher than the death rate of all other causes of death for females 15-24 years old.

  • Only 30% of people with anorexia receive mental health care.

  • Only 6% of people with bulimia receive mental health care.

  • Intervention and treatment within the first 6 months of developing disordered eating is crucial and is associated with better recovery outcomes.

  • In Maine, there is one program that provides intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization—the New England Eating Disorders (NEED) Program at Sweetser in Saco and there is one residential treatment center that specializes in treating co-occurring disorders - Crossroads Treatment Facility in Portland.

  • Many medical and mental health providers in Maine are not aware of the resources and treatment options available, are isolated from other providers with whom they may collaborate, and could benefit from more training and experience in the treatment of eating disorders.

  • Teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, college professionals, and other concerned adults who work with children and young adults are aware of the prevalence of eating disorders, but are unsure of how to respond. They could benefit from collaboration with others, especially in the areas of prevention, screening and early intervention.

  • Primary Care Physicians, Pediatricians and other health professionals are challenged by knowing mental health providers or registered dietitians who specialize in eating disorders treatment.

  • There is a lot of confusing and incorrect information circulating about healthy eating, obesity, exercise, and other eating and weight issues that may influence a person’s eating behaviors and distorted thinking. Our nation’s “war on obesity,” diet mentality, and thin ideal is a primary and constant factor in the development of eating disorders.

Meet the EDAM Board Members

Kathleen Hart, Ph.D., President 
Kathleen received her doctorate from Boston College and trained in clinical psychology at Boston Children’s Hospital and The Cambridge Hospital. Dr. Hart completed her Pre-doctoral Internship at The Children’s Hospital of Colorado. She also worked at Bethesda Hospital, Colorado both on the adult Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse units. Now in private practice, Dr. Hart works with teens and adults with eating and anxiety disorders using behavioral treatments including: Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT), Family Based Treatment (The Maudsley Method) and Mindfulness Training. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Hart devoted a portion of her career to research. She studied the relationship between parental attachment, sex roles and eating disorders. Her findings are published in the Journal of Psychological Assessment, Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology and the Journal of Sex Roles.

 Trisha Brink, LCSW, Treasurer 
Trisha is an outpatient therapist at her private practice location in Portland, Maine. She began working with eating disorders during her internship at the New England Eating Disorder program over 10 years ago and has been active in the eating disorders community since. Trisha is a member of the Portland Collaborative Treatment Team and partners with other treatment providers in the community who treat eating disorders. She also participates in a DBT consultation team affiliated with DBT Maine and has co-facilitated DBT groups for both adults and adolescents which she integrates into the treatment of eating disorders. Trisha joined the board of EDAM to advocate for awareness, prevention and improved treatment efforts throughout the state.

 Amy Taylor Grimm, RDN, LDN Secretary
Amy Taylor Grimm is a registered dietitian nutritionist who has specialized in eating disorders since 2000. Her private practice is located in Portland, ME. Amy also worked at the New England Eating Disorders Program for over fifteen years. Amy supports Health at Every Size as a treatment method to overcome compulsive and binge eating behaviors.

Jacqueline Plachta, M.Ac, Dipl. AC Communications
Jacqueline Plachta is a licensed Oriental Medicine practitioner who is working with Taoist Five Element Chinese Medicine in the area of addiction, trauma and chronic illness. Her private practice is located in Brunswick and Portland, ME. Jacqueline has been working with alternative therapies for recovery from eating disorders for over 20 years. She comes to the board with an extensive background in organizational and technical skills from previous board positions in non-profit organizations.