Eating Disorders awareness week is running from the 27th of February to the 5th of March. The aim of this week is raise awareness of Eating Disorders and by doing so encourage more people and their families/guardians to seek the help that they need.
There are approximately 9,925 people on the Island of Ireland who are living with an Eating Disorder. In Ireland there are 800 to 1000 new cases of Eating Disorders diagnosed each year.
Ruth, a person who has availed of the Eating Disorder Service provided by Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Services, stated "I would like people to know that eating disorders are about so much more than food and weight. My own eating disorder was something I turned to when times were tough. I first developed anorexia at the age of 19 and managed to find recovery at the age of 34. When the disorder is taken away, there is a huge void left in its place.
"I think it's so important to find something healthy to fill that void. For me, it was writing and the animals in my life that helped me recover along with support from my family and the eating disorders services in my area. I urge anyone who is suffering to come forward and ask for help. Eating disorders are by nature very secretive so if we can break the silence, that is a huge step in the right direction. I would also like people to know that there is life after an eating disorder and recovery is very possible.
"I came to the services here in 2011. I was very unwell and utterly hopeless. I saw no future for myself. Now life is something I am excited about and helping others through my story is so important to me. It's a daily battle and recovery never ends but I am in such a better place and I am incredibly grateful for that."
Events taking place locally as part of the awareness week include the following:
Monday 27th February - 12 noon – 2pm – St Angela’s College Sligo – Presentation, Service Information & Health Promotion stand.
Wednesday 1st March - 9am – 2pm – Sligo University Hospital – Eating Disorders & Mental Health Promotion stand.
Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th March - 10am – 4pm –Markievicz House, Sligo - PiLaR (Peer Led Resilience) Family/Carers workshops run by Sligo Mental Health Service and BODYWHYS Ireland. This is a two day programme of education and support. Attendance is free and booking is essential. Please contact Harriet Parsons, Service Manager BODYWHYS Tel: 01 2834963 e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Referral to the HSE Sligo Leitrim Eating Disorder Service is through your GP. If you or a family member are suffering with an Eating Disorder please contact your GP in the first instance.