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 almost impossible.

"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 approaches.

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

Cookies on our website

Cookies are used to ensure you get the best browsing experience. No personally identifiable information is collected.
By using our site you agree to these cookies being used. For more information please see our Cookie Policy.