The Eating Disorders Awareness Week
The Eating Disorders Awareness Week is run by the charity, Beat. It is designed to bring attention to the seriousness of eating disorders and the fact that they can affect absolutely anyone, no matter what their age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or background might be.
This year’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week theme is #LetsBeatThis and is for everyone affected by eating disorders. Visit www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/edaw to sign Beat’s pledge and get involved.[The awareness week was at the beginning of March is now passed, but the following information is still relevant.]
As well as campaigning to improve the services available, Beat works hard to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder and encourage and empower people to take action – no matter how long their symptoms have been present.
As well as getting involved with Eating Disorder Awareness Week, The Beat website has a fantastic range of resources and information for those who are suffering from an eating disorder, family and friends who are supporting them, healthcare professionals, school staff, university staff and employers. This ranges from information about the different types of disorder, the road to recovery – including myth-busting, how to support people who have an eating disorder, and a range of support services including a range of online support groups:
Eating disorders are, by nature, a secretive illness, where suffers find it hard to ask for help. It is difficult to speak up and even harder if the person doesn’t meet the stereotype image of a white, middle-class girl. Breaking down these barriers will hopefully help friends, family and teachers spot the signs earlier and make asking for help that bit easier.
It is estimated that, on average, it takes almost three years before those experiencing eating disorder symptoms seek help. This is compounded by the fact that many adults don’t recognise the symptoms: in a YouGov survey conducted for EDAW, more than one in three adults (34%) in the UK, who gave an answer, could not name any signs or symptoms of eating disorders. Find out more about the signs of an eating disorder.
It is vital anyone with an eating disorder gets the treatment they need as soon as possible. The sooner they are seen by a specialist, the more likely they are to make a full and fast recovery.
1.25 million people in the UK are living with an eating disorder right now and many of those people, once their illness is acknowledged, have a network of friends and family supporting them. This adds up to 5 million people struggling to cope with eating disorders.
Even if you are not suffering from an eating disorder or not connected with someone who is, please help increase awareness of the growing problem by sharing this article and/or the #LetsBestThis video.