Eating disorders - raising awareness
Published on: 3 Chwefror 2013 Author: Alex Strick
For Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we are joined by UK eating disorders charity Beat.
11-17 February 2013 is Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Eating disorders are still scarcely ever mentioned in young people's fiction, although they affect well over a million people in the UK, and those aged 14-25 are most likely to experience them.
As such, we've chosen to highlight the work of the UK eating disorders charity Beat, and have asked them to tell us more about this area.
What is Eating Disorders Awareness Week?
It's the week when we do all we can to raise awareness, challenge stereotypes and stigmas and increase understanding about eating disorders. Our message this year is that everybody knows somebody with an eating disorder. We want people to remember three main facts:
- Eating disorders are more common than you think
- You will already know someone who has an eating disorder
- You can help them
In what ways is help needed?
Well for starters, we're really glad BookTrust is highlighting this area and the need for more mainstream children's books which help young people to recognise the fact that eating disorders are so common and that there is help and hope.
When someone is worried about a friend or loved one and afraid that they may have an eating disorder, they can be afraid to say anything. They can be worried about making a false accusation, or saying the wrong thing and making it worse.
An eating disorder is an illness, not a crime. You are not accusing anyone when you share your concern for their health and well being. And reaching out with kindness can be the start of making the situation better, not worse. Every day we hear from people who've recovered and who are pleased that someone made them seek help. Even when you feel so worthless that you are convinced you don't deserve to be healthy and well, simple kindness can reach you and start to make all the difference.
What does Beat do?
Beat provides a range of support including helplines for adults and young people, a UK wide network of self help and support groups and online support including information, message boards and live chat at www.b-eat.co.uk. The charity also provides expert training to health and social care professionals and supports research into eating disorders.
How can people get involved?
Raising awareness is a serious matter, but it can be fun too. Check out our 'Sock it to Eating Disorders' fundraising campaign. Silly socks, odd socks, celebrity socks, all sorts of socks, all helping us to help others. Have a go!