Ben Lake MP shows his support for those affected by eating disorders


MPs and Peers have gathered to show support for The AnyBody and EveryBody Campaign #ChangeTheStory. 

The campaign, designed by The Hearts Minds and Genes Coalition are working to remove the stigma and misunderstanding that surrounds eating disorders. Eating disorders are serious, biologically based mental illnesses deserving of equal clinical and research funding to that given to other complex diseases. The coalition want to ensure that no-one with an eating disorder need experience shame or guilt, and everybody should have timely access to specialist services.

Eating disorders are not new illnesses, but there has been a massive rise in cases during the pandemic. Unacceptable delays before treatment means we are also seeing a rise in avoidable chronic long-term illness and loss of life. We need to ensure that we are no longer hiding behind the global pandemic but ensuring that the right support is in place for everyone because no one should be dying of an eating disorder in 2022. 

Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder and other specified feeding or eating disorders, are responsible for more loss of life than any other mental health condition, and they are becoming increasingly more common. But campaigners believe that changes to the way the NHS handles eating disorders can not only save lives but also save money for the cash-strapped NHS. Among the recommendations in the campaign is a call for a UK-wide eating disorder strategy with a clear timeline for implementation, a screening programme, increased research, awareness raising and training for healthcare professionals.

Ben Lake MP said: "I was absolutely delighted to join the Hearts Minds and Genes Coalition in parliament to mark Eating Disorder Awareness Week and the start of their new campaign, #ChangeTheStory, to end the stigma around eating disorders. Over the pandemic, I have heard more stories each week of people who are affected by eating disorders and it is clear that not enough is being done to support them. I urge others to get behind this campaign, to make noise and to show their support." 

Dr Agnes Ayton, chair of the Eating Disorders Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said“No one chooses to have an eating disorder. An eating disorder can affect anyone at any age and can be caused by a range of factors including genes, mental or physical health conditions and social pressure. The stigma around having an eating disorder prevents many people from asking for help when they need it. No one should feel embarrassed to ask for help. An eating disorder can have very serious long-term effects on the body, but with treatment, people can fully recover. Raising awareness of this issue is an important first step in helping people to get the help they need. If you think you may have an eating disorder, speak to your GP who can refer you to a specialist counsellor, psychiatrist or psychologist. You can also visit the NHS Choices website to find out what additional support is available, including confidential helplines." 

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  • Carys Lloyd
    published this page in News 2022-03-16 12:48:46 +0000

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