Over lockdown a number of people reached out who needed support for disordered eating but didn’t fit the NHS guidelines for getting support. They couldn’t afford private psychology and nutrition help and were struggling.
This lack of NHS support unless you have a specific BMI is scandalous. Hope Virgo (@Hopevirgo on twitter) has a campaign called Dump the Scales where she hopes to get eating disorders proper funding and support. All of us working in psychology feel the same. It is a horrible disease for the suffer and heart-breaking for those that care about them. And it isn’t taken seriously enough.
I tried to pull together resources suggested by some brilliant clinical psychologists I know that might be helpful to them until they were able to access the medical support required.
Support groups and advice
Despite the lack of resources within the NHS there are a number of great websites and support groups for those suffering with an eating disorder. Beat is the best known. It is a UK charity who give information, help and support for people affected by eating disorders. They manage online support groups, help you find peer support and have message boards and a helpline. More specifically for athletes the Train Brave website is brilliant for information, advice and has lots of case studies so you can see how other athletes have overcome their issues. There is also a great website (New Maudsley Approach) for those trying to support someone with an eating disorder.
Adult helpline: 0808 801 0677 (9am – 8pm Monday to Friday, 4pm – 8pm weekends and all bank holidays)
Studentline: 0808 801 0811 (as above)
Adult email: email@example.com
Student email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anorexia & Bulimia Care: https://www.anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk/
Train Brave: https://trainbrave.org/
The New Maudsley Approach: The New Maudsley Approach – A resource for professionals and carers of people with eating disorders
Other resources I recommend to those reaching out include:
A course on intuitive eating: Intuitive Psychology Academy (£77 including workbook)
The Food Psych podcast from Christy Harrison.
Another book: Brave Girl Eating which is written by a science journalist about her daughter’s struggle with anorexia – it offers a brilliant mix of personal and scientific, of emotion and rationalism.
If you have used anything else and found it helped please let me know and I will add it on.