Communication + Eating Disorders with Kaitlyn Chana, Founder & President Reel Stories Real People

In this episode of SolveCast, we talk to Kaitlyn Chana. Kaitlyn is founder of Reel Stories Real People, a grassroots organization dedicated to giving a voice to positive causes through video-based media.

In middle school, Kaitlyn fell in love with storytelling, an event which snowballed into her becoming an advocate for untold stories. As a reporter, she often spoke at schools, where she noticed "a disconnect of how we talked about eating disorders and mental illness in the classroom." Kaitlyn was frustrated with the lack of conversations and solutions around eating disorders, a problem with which she herself was all too familiar.

One day, she realized that her storytelling experience was her strongest tool to approach these sensitive issues. Now, Reel Stories Real People takes that idea home. Reel Stories Real People is currently working on a project entitled 'Empty on eating disorders,’ composed of a guided curriculum and upcoming narrative education film. Kaitlyn shares some of the difficulties of bringing together this important project for a wide spectrum of audiences - such a sensitive topic requires the knowledge of a broad range of health experts as well as the legal know-how to get it all done.

Beyond that project, Kaitlyn offers some advice on how companies can "create a culture and environment where everyone feels supported."

Ultimately, she reflects on how we should all be open to accepting ourselves in tough times. Join SolveCaster Chris Clews to hear about how Kaitlyn and Reel Stories Real People are using storytelling to make a difference.

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Chris Clews
Keynote Speaker/Author/Founder at Pop Culture Creations/Marketing Consultant
More about Chris Clews
Highlights from this article

I thought it was an opportunity to maybe enlighten and share our viewers a little bit more about what is this mental illness and how does it encompass a one where it could also take someone's life. And eating disorders really hurts our bodies. It confuses our minds and it bruises our soul. So I always like to say, we have to ask the question: What is this desire of self-loathing body hatred? How do we get there? Why is this the case of, of always thinking we're not good enough, we're not smart enough. We're not pretty enough. We're not worthy enough.

It's the asking the why questions? Why do you feel that way? Why did it drive you here? And so all those questions are so critical and key and sometimes, and business, and even in our personal lives, we're always on the go. And we don't take the time to ask the why. And I think every organization and every company has to take that moment to ask the why, because if you don't, then you could have an employee that's in the midst of a crux, and they can't get the support that they need.

Even as we're all in the midst of COVID, I think it's allowed everyone to take a step back and maybe spend some time recognizing who they are, meaning like they're taking a step out of their typical atypical day of going to work, getting in their car, doing this, and it's making them recognize what can they do within their own space? Meaning how can they self-soothe when they're overwhelmed, how do you provide self care? What does self care look like to you? And I think that goes to eating disorders, but just in every functional life too, is when you are stressed, how do you de-stress. What are those healthy things?

I've always jokingly said, like I have a toolkit and whenever I get stressed or overwhelmed, I have a card of 10 things that I do. So the first one is that maybe it's writing out, what's causing me to be stressed and different things. The second one is going for a walk. Maybe it's calling three friends, writing, saying affirmations, whatever the case is. I think it's okay. Teaching yourself, how to provide self care in a time when like you have, new control of what's happening around you. And that doesn't have to be right now. That's even with any type of, illness. It's like, how do you soothe yourself when. You have no control of the outside environment. The only thing that you can control is yourself. And that's the beautiful thing is you have a choice. You have a choice in your activities of which ones you want to engage in and which ones you don't, and you have a choice in how you want to help yourself.

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