21 February 2011
Bristol-based eating disorders team celebrates new support for carers
Eating Disorders Awareness Week sees launch of new group for
service users' friends and families
The STEPs eating disorders team, run by Avon and Wiltshire
Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, is launching a new group to
support the family and friends of service users.
STEPs, which runs a six-bed eating disorders unit on the
Southmead Hospital site as well as day and community services, will
hold sessions giving an opportunity for friends and family of
current clients to share their experiences as well as hear expert
viewpoints from staff.
The news comes during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week,
which runs from 21 to 28 February, and will help strengthen the
team's existing work with carers.
Bobby Orchard, occupational therapist and carer lead for STEPs,
says: "Family members, partners and friends are often the most
valuable resource in an individual's recovery from an eating
disorder and involving them in the management and treatment of the
condition can greatly improve the results of treatment.
"Home life can often be severely disrupted, with changed eating
patterns, increased stress and difficulty around mealtimes and
concern about the sufferer's physical health. Enjoyment of family
celebrations such as birthdays, weddings or Christmas can become
"That's why we want to support carers as much as possible. We
aim for the new group to be a chance not just to share useful
information but also an opportunity for carers to get together and
learn from each other's experiences."
Bobby is organising sessions every other month starting in March
with input at each meeting from a range of specialist
professionals. All family members, friends and supporters of
people currently using services at STEPs are welcome.
The STEPs team primarily works with people from across the Avon
area, however the service has an excellent reputation much further
a field and STEPs is well known for developing innovative
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is an opportunity for
people to find out more about the issues associated with eating
disorders as well as to learn about the help that is available to
support people who are fighting to overcome eating disorders, and
to recognise that many people are successful in learning to manage
these conditions. Full details can be found on the Beat website