As I’ve previously mentioned, early intervention is crucial to a quick, sustained, and full recovery from anorexia and other eating disorders. The UK charity B-eat notes that eating disorders need to be halted in the early stages before they become entrenched, and there is plenty of evidence that delaying treatment damages recovery. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and still people in this country are turned away from mental health services because they are not ‘ill enough’.
Also according to B-eat, 41% of sufferers wait for more than 6 months for treatment, and 32% of sufferers feel that they are discriminated against at work because of their eating disorder. Eating disorders cost the economy a total of £16.8 billion per year, and yet only 15p is invested in relevant research per each adult affected by an eating disorder, compared to £1,571 per adult affected by cancer.
It is essential to overcome these barriers to early intervention by training professionals who are best placed to spot early warning signs, such as teachers, to recognise eating disorders. Professionals, sufferers, and carers need to know where and how to access help and, in turn, the specialist services need to be better funded and resourced so that help and effective treatment is offered quickly and for long enough.
If I can help with any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.