Last month, our Trust marked Eating Disorder Awareness Week by putting our best foot forward in our annual "sock it to eating disorders" competition.
Nationwide, referrals to Specialist Eating Disorder Services (SEDS), including our own, have more than doubled, and calls to the Beat's Eating Disorder helpline alone rose by 173%. In response, team members from across the Trust, including our Chief Executive, Sarah-Jane Marsh, put on their boldest socks to raise awareness of eating disorders.
We had many fantastic entries, but it was the bright and brilliant socks of our Neuro theatre team that took first place.
Sheryllin McNeil, Consultant Clinical Psychologist for SEDS, said:
"We were thrilled to see so many of our colleagues taking part to help us raise awareness of eating disorders.
“Following an increase in eating disorder referrals, it’s more important than ever that we continue to work towards breaking down barriers to accessing treatment, addressing inequalities and better supporting individuals and communities suffering with this illness."
He said, “Taking part in eating disorders awareness weeks offers not only our patients and families, but our staff members the opportunity to share inspiration, stories, and understanding.
“The SEDS team help us as sufferers to understand our illness and know that each person will be individual in the care required. To understand what support the families require and need is not easy but they do this with such empathy.”
Aliyah-Mae Williams-Ridgway, Assistant Psychologist for the SEDS team, also spoke about the awareness week:
“The secretive nature of eating disorders and the associated shame and stigma can mean there are often delays in seeking help and accessing services which prevents early identification. Raising awareness of eating disorders and increasing understanding amongst medical professionals and the wider community is one way to address this problem.
“Early intervention is key to successful recovery. That is why events like Eating Disorder Awareness Week are so important as they help to raise awareness of eating disorder facilitates such as early identification and treatment.”
Find out more on our Eating Disorder Awareness page.