Break the Barriers: Raising Awareness of Eating Disorders

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Knowing the signs of eating disorders and being more aware of the issue is the focus of Eating Disorders Week 2019

New guidelines are to be issued to GPs in Scotland in how to support patients with an eating disorder. There will also be information for all those affected.

This year’s campaign will highlight the stories of those who are not normally associated with eating disorders.

The charity BEAT states:

“Stereotypes about who gets an eating disorder are preventing BAME, LGBT+ and people from less affluent backgrounds from seeking and getting medical treatment”

This delay could make it harder for individuals from these groups to recover.

Andrew Radford,Beat’s Chief Executive  said:

“It is sadly not surprising that stereotypes about who gets an eating disorder are so widespread, but it is very worrying that those misconceptions are preventing people from seeking help. This means that BAME, LGBT and poorer people will get iller before they start treatment and find their recovery is harder.

“Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. We have to challenge the stereotypes and raise awareness so that everyone who needs help can get it quickly.”

The guidelines in Scotland and being produced by SIGN (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network) .

In many parts of Scotland, our islands and rural areas, those affected will  find it difficult to find the specialist treatment they need. The new guidance it is hoped will support all of Scottish society – no matter where you live.

Sara Twaddle, Director of Evidence with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said:

“Studies tell us that eating disorders in teenage girls may be as high as 12% and that male eating disorders are increasingly being recognised.”

Clare Haughey, Minister for Mental Health in the Scottish Government said:

“It is vital that patients across Scotland have the best possible support available and I welcome the eating disorder guidance SIGN is creating which will give clinicians in Scotland more specific advice.

“Eating disorders do not discriminate – anyone can be affected by them and we are committed to raising awareness across Scotland.”

To find out more about eating disorders:

Types of Eating Disorder

Helpline: 0808 801 0677

Youthline: 0808 801 0711

Studentline: 0808 801 0811

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