Monday 1 to Sunday 7 March is Eating Disorders (ED) Awareness Week; however, we want to ensure we give this campaign the attention it deserves and as this week is also our Bucks Students’ Union Elections, we will be holding Bucks ED Awareness week from 8-12 March instead.
Why is Eating Disorders Awareness important?
Aside from Anxiety and Depression, Eating Disorders are the most common Mental Health difficulty for University students to experience. According to Student Minds, one in ten people in the UK will experience symptoms of an Eating Disorder (ED) at some point in their life, with incidence rates highest in people aged 15-24. On average, 149 weeks pass before those experiencing an eating disorder seek help. However, the sooner someone gets treatment, the more likely they are to making a full recovery. Student Minds also noted that supportive social relationships outside the treatment setting have been identified as important in recovery. It is our job to ensure we are informed on Eating Disorders and creating a safe space for all students, no matter what they are going through.
Natasha Neal, Vice President Education and Welfare, is working on a number of internal changes to ensure all staff are educated on Eating Disorders so we can best support our students. She plans to do this by making Eating Disorder Awareness training available and highly recommended for our Students' Union staff as well as opening up opportunities to all students and making sure that Eating Disorders are recognised in our ongoing training of our student leaders and welfare liaisons in particular. Additionally, we have a number of Mental Health First Aiders in our Students' Union staff team, and we would like one of these staff members to be specifically ED trained so we have someone present who is more knowledgeable on the topic.
Beat is the UK’s Eating Disorders charity, with a vision to end the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders. They provide support to sufferers and their loved ones through free helplines, online groups, and one-to-one chats, as well as campaigning for better, faster treatment and understanding for those affected.
If you or someone you know are experience symptoms of an Eating Disorder, please get in touch with Beat via:
- Helpline: 0808 801 0677
- Studentline: 0808 801 0811
(Helplines are open 365 days a year, from 9am-8pm during the week and 4pm-8pm on weekends and bank holidays)
If you are in need of urgent help for yourself or someone else outside of the opening hours, please contact 999 or the Samaritans on 116 123.
Beat also offer a number of support resources, including:
Sock It to Eating Disorders
We are supporting a campaign previously ran by Beat for Eating Disorder Awareness Week, asking supporters to wear their brightest and boldest socks. We are asking students to take a photo in your wackiest socks and post it on your social media accounts using #SockItToEatingDisorders and tag us.
We will also be posting support resources, Eating Disorder Awareness events (including a guest speaker from Beat), links to ED Awareness TedTalks, and all other plans on our social media platforms throughout the week, as well as providing sign-ups for these on our What’s On Page here, so please make sure you are following us to stay updated.
Any engagement throughout this week will enter you in with the chance of winning one of three happiness journals as well!