I was delighted to be invited on to Radio Veralum last week. I was asked to come on the station to help promote awareness of eating disorders. As this week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
I didn’t need asking twice. You can listen to my interview here.
Why am I so keen to share my story? To raise awareness of a mental health condition that is still taboo to many.
Around 725,000 people affected by eating disorders in the UK. We need to stop sweeping the crumbs under the carpet.
Our Perceptions Of Eating Disorders
Let’s be honest eating disorders are not pleasant.
Most people love food and eating. Food represents nourishment. Mealtimes are for many, a social occasion.
We don’t want to think about someone vomiting after eating because they feel guilty.
We would rather not consider laxative abuse. Laxative abusers deceive others into believing they do not have a problem with food.
Eating disorders have a far wider reach than simply sufferers. Loved ones and family feel totally frustrated and helpless when the can’t reach those affected. .
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
By making it more acceptable to talk about eating disorders, we break down social stigma. We make it easier for others to come forward. We’ve seen this with other taboo subjects, such as child abuse.
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is one platform to raise awareness. But let’s not forget we need to keep the conversations alive for the other 51 weeks of the year.
Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity. One of their key messages is to push for early intervention. Research shows that early intervention has a huge impact on full and sustained recovery rates.
What does early intervention mean?
- Spotting the signs and symptoms of eating disorders. This is not always easy as sufferers become adept at deception to avoid detection.
- Once someone has summoned the courage to seek help that GPs take action. GPs need to recognise symptoms and takes an appropriate course of action.
- Sufferers are referred on to the services able to offer immediate treatment. This is a big ask with the pressures faced by the health service.
About Radio Veralum
Radio Veralum 92.6FM is a community radio station staffed entirely by volunteers for St Albans and surrounding areas in West Herts.
Radio Verulam aims to enable local people to become involved in radio broadcasting. It connects with local community, charitable, social and voluntary organisations. The station serves listeners of all ages and backgrounds living in St Albans and the surrounding area.