Raising Awareness of Eating Disorders

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

 

Supporting Young People Following A Death

When a tragedy occurs we are often unsure how to support the younger members of our community. How do we help them cope? How do we give them the support they need?

Young people react the same way adults do. They may feel overwhelmed by intense emotions and not understand how to cope with these feelings.

  • Help them talk about the event. Let them know that it’s normal to feel worried or upset. Try to listen carefully and understand what they say.
  • It might be wise to limit the amount of media coverage on the event. Too much repeated coverage could heighten anxiety.
  • Encourage them to talk with friends and other important people in their life.

Ways To Support Young People Through Trauma

  • This may be the first time they have felt such grief. Feelings of anger, sadness, confusion, and guilt if others have died are normal.
  • They may be afraid of their vulnerability and avoid talking.You may need to take the first step and bring up the subject.
  • If there has been a previous loss, it may bring up old pain. Take the time to reflect on what old emotions have re-emerged.
  • Encourage them to connect with friends instead of isolating themselves. Friends play an important role in supporting each other in times of need.
  • Encourage them to talk someone from the community that they can trust. This might be a teacher, counsellor, member of the clergy etc
  • Encourage them to express thoughts and feelings on paper. This can be helpful in releasing powerful emotions, disturbing thoughts, and feelings of grief.
  • Help them find comforting routines as a way to cope. Encourage them to listen to favourite music, go for a walk, play football, or watch a DVD.
  • Coping with a traumatic event takes time. Don’t assume they are ok or unaffected because they haven’t said anything.

Warning signs to look out for include:

  • Troubled sleep or frequent nightmares
  • Fear of going to school, going outside, or being left alone
  • Changes in behaviour (unusual quietness, unresponsiveness, or tiredness)
  • Angry outbursts, acting-out behaviour
  • Excessive crying
  • Headaches or stomach aches
  • Turning to alcohol or drugs to cope
  • Change in appetite (increased or decreased)
  • Loss of interest in life
  • Spending more time than usual alone

Remember your local GP is there if you need to talk.

Useful Support Services

For more information check out www.unwindyourmind.wordpress.com and www.spunout.ie for tips from young people on what helps them feel better during times of stress.

Visit Talk Buncrana or UnwindYourMind Facebook pages for links to support services

www.RD4U.org.uk –  Online bereavement support service for young people

www.unwindyourmind.wordpress.com Support info and tips on dealing with stress

When a friend dies

Taken from SpunOut.ie – Health & Life – When a friend dies

when a friend dies

 

  

Death is inevitable, unfortunately. It is one of the definite things in life. Nobody likes to hear this but it’s true.


Death hits all age groups:  it is easier to understand and accept death when an elderly person dies. We feel that they have lived their lives and their time has come. 

The death of a person of any age group is distressing. The death of a young person is terrible for everyone. 

When death takes one of our friends from us, it is very hard to comprehend and believe it. Long after the death we still expect to meet them on the street or anywhere. “WHY?” is the big question that we all want answered. 

We’re used to having our friends around, chatting, joking, messing…. but when one is missing there is a huge difference. Suddenly, one day they disappear from our lives and nothing can justify it. 

Feelings of grief, despair, depression, heart-break, anger and fear set in. “What will we do without him/her/them?” 

There appears to be only one healer for this problem and this is TIME. Time lets us get on with our lives but we still remember the highs, lows, good points, bad points and we’ll always have fond memories of our friends. We may never truly get over the death of a friend but time eases the pain. Continue reading

Today’s Youtube video- Spunout.ie interviews Childline

Ireland’s leading Youth website www.spunout.ie speaks to the folks at childline about their online support service that they operate for young people.

The video speaks for itself, so no need for me to say anymore!

But if you are looking for some support both spunout.ie and Childline are excellent resources.

Useful links and numbers  http://www.SpunOut.ie/help

http://www.childline.ie Phone: 1800 66 66 66