From 27 February through to 5 March, Beat – the UK’s eating disorders charity, is working to raise awareness of these serious mental illnesses. They’re focusing on the importance of getting people into treatment as quickly as possible and the vital roles that GPs play, as well as the people in the sufferer’s life, such as their friends and family.
Recovery is possible, and a person’s chance of making a full and sustained recovery is greater if they can quickly get into treatment that will address the thoughts and feelings that cause the eating disorder. This is why pushing for early access to treatment, both when someone first develops an eating disorder and in the case of relapse, is a key part of Beat’s work.
Often friends and family are instrumental in helping people with eating disorders get into treatment and so not just GPs, but everyone needs to be able to recognise the signs of an eating disorder. That’s why for Eating Disorders Awareness Week Beat has also launched the Tips campaign. While eating disorders are often associated with physical symptoms like weight loss, we know this won’t always occur for a long time, if at all. The first warning signs will most likely be psychological or relate to the person’s behaviour.
At Balanced Being we hope that if people know what to look for, they’ll be able to spot an eating disorder long before physical symptoms emerge, and be able to help the person get treatment before the thoughts and feelings causing the eating disorder become ingrained.
We want to help Beat increase understanding that eating disorders are serious mental illnesses and not a choice the sufferer makes. We hope to see Beat’s Tips campaign spread far and wide! To learn more about the campaign click, here.
If you wish to support people affected by eating disorders and help raise awareness, please contact Michela, Regional Officer at Beat: firstname.lastname@example.org – she’ll be happy to hear from you!