Government must improve care for those with eating disorders

Today Lib Dems will lead a Westminster Hall debate on the role stigma plays in preventing people with eating disorders from accessing early treatment.

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Eating disorders affect 1.25 million people in the UK and despite evidence showing early intervention is critical to a recovery, people wait three-and-a-half years, on average, between the onset of symptoms and starting treatment.

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake said:

"Many of those with eating disorders suffer in silence. There is still so much to be done to tackle the stigma surrounding eating disorders and that is why I am so pleased that this important debate has been secured.

"It is vital that we both look at improving the care and support for those facing an eating disorder, and also discuss how we can best help those suffering to seek help.

"We urge the government to ensure all young people can access Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services up to the age of 25 and introduce waiting time targets for adults. This is crucial to ensure that those struggling seek the help they need to get better."

Mental health campaigner and author Hope Virgo added:

"People with eating disorders are getting an unfair deal in society. It is not right that people are turned away from support because of their BMI. This was devastating to me when I relapsed from anorexia and it happens every day to thousands of people, leaving them feeling suicidal, alone and without help.

"We need to remove this postcode lottery of access to life-changing support. The time to change this is now. It is time to dump the scales."

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