NHS trust shine a light on eating disorders in men

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust shines light on men’s experience of eating disorders for Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2023

Black Country NHS Foundation Trust is marking Eating Disorders Awareness Week, the annual and nationally recognised week to challenge myths and misconceptions around eating disorders.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2023, which runs from 27 February to 5 March and is organised by the charity Beat, is this year particularly focused on raising awareness of men’s experience of eating disorders, aiming to tackle misconceptions so that men come forward if they need help.

Around one in four people with an eating disorder are male, but a recent survey of men who have experienced eating disorders carried out by Beat found that one in five had never spoken to anyone about their condition and one in three had never tried to get treatment.

Four in five felt that raising awareness would help men get treatment sooner, which is why BCHFT is shining a light on how men can be impacted by eating disorders, as well as sharing advice on how to recognise the signs of an eating disorder and how to access help.

Dean Bourne, a peer support worker at the Trust’s All Age Eating Disorder Service has lived experience of an eating disorder and has received treatment from the service. He now works directly with people living with an eating disorder to help them on the road to recovery.

He has bravely opened up about his struggle with an eating disorder and how accessing help changed his life. Dean shared his story at a public webinar on eating disorders hosted by the Trust to mark the start of Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

His story is also being shared to watch on the Trust’s social media channels throughout the week and is also available to read in full on the Trust website. Donna Hamilton, Eating Disorders Service Manager and Clinical Lead at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Anyone can develop an eating disorder which is why it is vital that we raise awareness of how to spot the signs and how to access help early. The sooner someone gets help the better the outcome of treatment is.

“Eating disorders can be overcome with the right support. The all-age eating disorder service at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust supports people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders, among others.

“People are referred to our service, and our teams work with the person on a recovery programme. The length of the programme depends on the complexity of the eating disorder and is designed to reduce eating disorder symptoms, support physical recovery and encourage psychological change to enable improvement to a person’s quality of life.

“I want to say a huge thank you to Dean for sharing his story as the more we talk about eating disorders, the more we can encourage people to come forward for the support they need.”

For more information on the All Age Eating Disorder Service at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, visit blackcountryhealthcare.nhs.uk.


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