Michigan author educates students on mental illness

GWINN–Tuesday a Michigan author held a meet and greet with students at Gwinn High School, speaking out about a mental illness.

A student teacher at Gwinn High School has been reading with her class, a book about a young man with an eating disorder. The book Starved was written by Mike Somers, a Michigan raised author who earned his graduates degree from Northern Michigan University. The Department of Education at NMU helped Somers make the trip to talk with students in Gwinn possible.

“Eating disorders happen to men just as easily as they happen to women,” author Mike Somers said. “It’s just under reported and under diagnosed and what I wanted to do was start was really show the gender doesn’t matter eating disorders are eating disorders and the behaviors are the same. For some reason we see it more in girls and women we’re more in tuned to it. Whereas with boys, we don’t really focus much on that.”

Although the market for books on male eating disorders is small, Somers has received emails from boys from around the world who have sought treatment since reading Starved.

Ten million men in the United States will suffer from an eating disorder in their life time according to the National Eating Disorder Association. This Michigan made book Starved aims to highlight the potential warning signs and the importance of outreach in the mental illness.

“They have had the most amazing comments about what can they do if they have someone they might need to help, can they get help if they need it, and how to recognize mental health issues in other people,” student teacher Beth Bertucci said.

Somers recommends the book for high school, college students, and adults. For more information on the book visit Starved.