Beat, the Eating Disorders Charity, is running a national awareness week called ‘Sock it to Eating Disorders’ this week. It is a light hearted way to bring people together, do a bit of fundraising, and raise the profile of a devastating group of conditions.
As a GP at Students’ Health I deal with such conditions most weeks, and one can become too focussed on the medical aspects, so it’s good to stop and think occasionally about what these illnesses mean to the people who suffer from them, and their friends and families. And nothing brings that home like the Beat “Lasting Memories” page, which reminded me of the immense impact that such a potentially fatal condition can have.
What a long list of lost young people, mainly women, and so many aged around 18-20, like the students I look after every day. The messages left by family and friends are heart breaking, and this online wall of memorials is a sobering reminder of why I and my colleagues spend so much time and energy improving and developing local services for Eating Disorders in Bristol.
We have made it so much easier in the last 2 or 3 years to get help that hopefully such memorials will become rare, and fewer families will be turned upside down by such tragic deaths.
Here at Students’ Health Service we really do want to help you if you have, or think you might have, an eating disorder, so please do come and see any of the GPs, and talk about referral onto First Step, the new Bristol-wide community based service for assessment and therapy. First Step is led by a clinical psychologist, and you can have your appointment in the same building as the GP practice, no need to go to hospital. The average waiting time for an appointment with them is about 3 weeks, not long at all, so don’t hesitate if you are suffering… come and talk to us.