People with eating disorders struggle every day. A place that prides itself in helping with that fight for those in the Erie-region
say that struggle, is often the root of trauma, or another battle in their life.

Getting professional help has turned from being taboo, to life saving

White Pine Center for healing is offers help through support groups and individualized therapy. 

Executive Director Mary Machuga says, "We provide treatment, education, and provide prevention programs for people with eating disorders, body image issues, weight stigma and trauma."

Machuga also says, "In a lot of cases, people effected with eating disorders become so malnourished that they're not thinking straight and the eating disorder really kinda re-wires their brain and that's what you need to untangle."

Four white pine therapists help untangle people, ranging from adolescents to the elderly.

Brandes Montgomery is the clinical director at White Pine Center for Healing. She says, "If you were to look at somebody, you don't know what their body is doing. so that's why we include a dietician, we try to include a psychiatrist, a PCP, and then of course the therapeutic component is us." 

The group and individualized sessions and all the services provided by White Pine take place inside the former St. Andrews Rectory along West 7th Street in Erie.

Machuga says all major insurance companies are accepted, there's also a scholarship fund for families that can't afford treatment, and a no cost support group to women 18 years of age and older.

A client who suffers from the eating disorder, bulimia, chose not to share her name. She says, "If it wasn't for White Pine, I wouldn't have my therapist who specializes in eating disorders. There's not many therapists in Erie who specializes in that." 

Ironically put, Machuga says, "People are hungry for help."

For more information, you can check out the organization's website: