About 9% percent of New Jerseyans – or 784,202 people – will have an eating disorder in their lifetime, according to Harvard University’s Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders. It is the second-leading cause of death due to a mental illness, following opioid overdoses, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. But there is help when it comes to eating disorders, including at a center reopening in a new location this month.
The Renfrew Center – the nation’s largest network of eating disorder treatment facilities – will open June 13 at 161 Gaither Drive, Suite 105, in Mount Laurel, according to a recent announcement. The new location is 3 miles from the original site, which opened in 2012.
The Renfrew Center of Southern New Jersey is an outpatient facility specializing in the treatment of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, in addition to other eating disorders. Programming includes in-person and virtual options, including day treatment (which meets five days a week), intensive outpatient and outpatient services.
The Renfrew Center, which also has a location in Paramus in addition to other sites around the U.S., offers treatments such as trauma support, substance use support, nutrition counseling, diabetes support, creative arts therapy, religious support and more. The site also offers specialized patient support groups including BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of color) as well as SAGE (sexuality and gender equality).
The announcement also said for individuals in need of a higher level of care, residential treatment is available 45 minutes away at The Renfrew Center of Philadelphia.
The center is led by Regional Assistant Vice President Kristin Szostak, who also leads centers in Radnor, Pa., and Philadelphia. According to The Renfrew Center, Szostak earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University and her master’s degree in clinical counseling psychology from LaSalle University. Site Director and Alumni Representative Liz Shemory received her bachelor’s degree in dance from DeSales University and her master’s degree in dance/movement therapy and counseling from Drexel University.
For those concerned about COVID-19 safety, Renfrew’s website states that more than 97% of its staff is vaccinated.=