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Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2-8 March 2020 – 29th February 2020


I have just finished talking to some Sixth Form girls this morning about the risk factors and protective factors that impact our emotional health. Food came up twice – some girls identified food as a way to nourish ourselves (protective), whilst others identified food as a key trigger for a mental health issue (risk). We need food to survive, but many of us can have a complicated relationship with food. 

In 'Everything I Know About Love', writer Dolly Alderton describes her experience of Anorexia with such stark honesty. She confronts society's obsession with being thin and explains how friends and strangers validated her illness because she 'looked great'. 

I recommend Louis Theroux's documentary, 'Talking To Anorexia' (available on BBC iplayer). He explores the complexities of the illness and the difficult path towards recovery. When visiting one of the patients, Louis stops himself before saying, "You look well" realising that this is such a loaded comment.  It is in our nature to compliment someone for their appearance, but for someone who is struggling with an eating disorder, this can have serious implications. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. And it is so much more than thinking you are fat.

Next week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week and the charity, BEAT (beateatingdisorders.org.uk) want to recognise the role of carers in the recovery, the impact eating disorders can have on them too, and the work that must be done to ensure they have the support to look out for both themselves and the person they care for. Please show your support with #LetsBeatThis and check out the support that Beat offer.

For more information and support, check out:

www.anorexiabulimilacare.org.uk - personal advice and support for anyone affected by anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and other kinds of eating distress.

www.mengetedstoo.co.uk - a website for men who have been affected by eating disorders and a platform for which men can get their voices heard.

www.b-eat.co.uk - 'Beating eating disorders' - provides information on all aspects of eating disorders. To speak with a trained worked, call their helpline on 0808 801 0711 (12pm-6pm Mon to Fri and 4pm-8pm weekends and bank holidays)

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