Central New York, Community, food, Health, Non-profit

Ophelia’s Place Brings New Meaning to “I am in Control Day”

“I am in Control Day” has evolved over the past three decades. Many people may not know the history behind it, but NCC reporter Allie Mannheimer tells us how this holiday became much more than a famous phrase.

Alexander Haig.(c) 1982 J. Scott Applewhite

By Allie Mannheimer LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (NCC News) — What does “I am in Control Day” mean to you? In 1981, it meant that Alexander Haig considered himself to be the new President of the United States. Now, the day has transformed to mean something unique to each person.

Being in control could mean:

  • Organizing your office space
  • Making a to-do list you actually plan to stick to
  • Being honest with someone when they ask for a favor you really don’t want to do

However, taking control of your life can also be much more serious and life-changing. At Ophelia’s Place in Liverpool, people make the choice to take control of their life after struggling with an eating disorder. The non-profit center provides services such as education, out-patient treatment programs, and support.

Gillian McGann, Director of Ophelia’s Place, said her goal is to change how people see themselves when the media portray’s an “unattainable” body image.

“I think one of the lies we believe a lot about eating disorders and body image is that it’s always something we’ll have to struggle with. Right? Like this is something I’ll just have to struggle with, this is something that’s just real about my life,” said McGann.

Apple and brie sandwich from Cafe at 407. (c) 2017 Allie Mannheimer

She explained that Ophelia’s Place aims to empower its patients, showing that a full recovery is possible.

In order to fund this non-profit, 35% of its funding comes from Café at 407, according to McGann. The café is the storefront of Ophelia’s Place, where anyone can walk in and dine. The menu ranges from coffees and cakes to salads and sandwiches. All proceeds go to funding Ophelia’s Place.

While the café provides a great place to grab a bite to eat, it also serves a purpose. McGann explained that it creates a safe atmosphere for people to discuss disordered eating. Many patients feel comfortable bringing family members and friends to the restaurant, rather than a hospital-type setting.

“Usually when you go into a treatment setting, it’s very clinical, it’s usually in a doctor’s office or hospital and we wanted to make something that was warm and inviting,” said McGann.

Whether you are struggling from an eating disorder or not, finding ways to take control of your life today could have an impact on your life tomorrow.