“EARLY treatment aids recovery” is the message ahead of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which runs from February 27 to March 5.
Warrington Borough Council are supporting the international campaign, led by UK charity Beat, which aims to raise awareness of eating disorders and to challenge myths and misunderstandings.
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin , executive board member for public health and wellbeing, said ”Eating disorders aren’t just faddy eating, or diets gone wrong, they’re serious mental health problems. Although eating disorders appear to be about food and weight, the reasons they occur are varied and complex.
“Eating disorders are treatable and recovery is possible, so if you’re struggling with problems around eating it’s important to ask for support and treatment as early as possible, as it can make a real difference, greatly increasing your chances of recovery.
“Depression often accompanies eating disorders, so it’s important to see your GP, not only for your physical health, but also to make sure you get the support and treatment you need for your emotional wellbeing. Your GP will be able to explain the different support and treatment options available to you.”
A report commissioned by Beat, “The Costs of Eating Disorders – Social, Health and Economic Impacts”, estimates that more than 725,000 people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia or binge eating.
Many eating disorders develop during adolescence, but it’s not unusual for people to develop eating disorders earlier or later in life.
Eating disorders are often seen as conditions that affect girls and young women, however, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence estimates around 11% of those affected are male.
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) provides a specialist Eating Disorder service for people in Warrington aged 18 and over.
Although the service only accepts referrals from health professionals, staff are happy to talk through what they offer and whether it might be right for you.
You can contact Warrington and Halton Eating Disorder Service on 01925 248 475.
For more information about available support, visit Warrington’s mental health awareness site:www.happyoksad.org.uk.
The site includes an online directory of local and national organisations which can offer information, support or treatment for a wide range of mental health issues, including eating disorders.