Eating disorder services: Are there enough in Sunderland?

EDAW_2016_logo_for_website_article_copy_listingSunderland Mind development worker and counsellor Janice Wilson believes there are not enough services to help those with eating disorders in Sunderland.


After the closure of the award winning Richardson Eating Disorder Unit in Newcastle, the next nearest impatient facility is nearly 40 miles away, in Darlington.

Mrs Wilson said: “There’s been an increase in the amount of people who come to us and I think that’s because there aren’t as many services as there ought to be in Sunderland.

“I think it is really important to raise the profile of eating disorders. There’s a lot in the press about the problem, which is good because at one point it wasn’t very well known.

“I think it’s because younger people have been diagnosed. Children as young as six can have problems with their eating.”

This is a view shared by Mary George a spokesperson from Beat, the UK’s leading charity in supporting anyone who suffers from an eating disorder.

Mrs George said: “There’s never enough treatment available, although the Government are putting extra funding into the treatment of eating disorders.

“There are still people around the UK who have to travel outside the area to access the specialist treatment they need.

“Although they (eating disorders) are reported and talked about far more than in the past, it is very important to keep bringing it to the attention of the public.”

Sunderland Mind will visit the University of Sunderland next week to raise awareness of eating disorders during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2016.

One in 10 people in the UK will experience partial or full symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorder at some point in their lifetime.

Young women aged between 14-19 make up approximately 40 per cent of all identified cases of Anorexia Nervosa.

Mrs Wilson added: “Anorexia is particularly prevalent in very young people because of the pressure that they feel as it just gets engrained that you have to be slim.”

The Sunderland Mind stall will be held at both Cityspace and the Prospect building on Friday 26 February.

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