Norwich-based eating disorder charity Beat are partnering with the Norfolk Community Eating Disorder Service to support and advise the families of those trying to care for a child with an eating disorder.
Beat are establishing a telephone support line, the provision of advice, and a two-day workshop this month to help parents to understand more about their child’s eating disorder and learn skills to help support them.
Beat was founded in 1989 as the UK’s first eating disorder charity, and has since grown into a key resource for those seeking advice, treatment and training.
Eating disorders affect over one million people in the UK, mostly teenagers and young adults.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend family-based therapy as the most effective treatment for said disorders, though despite this over 40 percent of parents said they were given little information on eating disorders, whilst 60 percent claimed to not have been told about useful support groups.
Furthermore, supporting a child with an eating disorder can cost a family an average of £32,672 – over £5,000 more than an average salary, with each patient is estimated to cost the NHS up to £80,000.This is does not include the emotional and financial costs incurred in the estimated 176 weeks between the beginning of the disorder and the starting of treatment.
Rebecca Field, Head of Communications for Beat, said: ‘Families can provide vital help for loved ones suffering with an eating disorder and it is essential that they get the information and support they need.’
Beat’s approaches will undoubtedly act as a stepping stone towards the relief both the suffering individual, and the families who support them.