Below is an article by Alison Healy which appeared in Tuesday’s Irish Times’ Health Supplement. It raises awareness about eating disorders which is timely in the run up to Eating Disorders Awareness week. Bodywhys is an excellent organisation and does fantastic work in Ireland.
BY ALISON HEALY
THE FOCUS may be on the run-up to the election but the Bodywhys campaign is using this week to raise awareness of eating disorders.
Information and fundraising events have been organised around the country to highlight the prevalence of eating disorders and the help on offer to people affected by them.
It has been estimated that up to 200,000 people in Ireland may be affected by eating disorders, with some 400 new cases emerging each year.
These include anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and orthorexia – an obsession with the quality of food consumed and the “perfect diet”.
Bodywhys is also using Eating Disorders Awareness Week to encourage people to ask political canvassers where they stand on mental health issues and whether they will commit to supporting eating disorder services.
Events being held to mark the week include information meetings and fundraising events.
On Friday , The Magnificent Toby Plum , a new children’s book promoting positive body image, will be published.
The events will continue into next week when child and adolescent psychiatrist Prof Fiona McNicholas will give an evening talk on eating disorders in adolescents, at the Lucena Clinic in Rathgar, Dublin on Wednesday, March 2nd.
Bodywhys chief executive Jacinta Hastings said eating disorders affected men and women, young and old, right across the country.
“This week will be a significant one in the political life of the country. However, it is important that this focus does not distract from the mental health issues that people struggle with every day.
“Eating disorders are complex conditions, requiring deep understanding and dedicated treatment services,” she said.
The Bodywhys helpline number is lo-call 1890-200444.
To receive an eating disorders information pack, text EDINFO with your name and postal address to 51500