Men Get Eating Disorders Too charity are delighted to announce a new Peer Support Service in partnership with the Carers Centre, As You Are and Brighton and Hove Eating Disorders Service (BHEDS).
The Peer Support Service will involve three groups for adults affected by eating disorders in men, women and carers living in Brighton and Hove. Until now, limited community-based support has been available for those suffering from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and other eating disorders.
Sam Thomas, MGEDT Founder and Director, said: “The new partnership will help improve early intervention and improved support for those with eating disorders in the local area. Too often, sufferers and their carers feel unable to seek support due to the barriers faced. By creating safe spaces for those in need, we hope that those affected will not have to suffer in silence or get to crisis point before the seek help.”
Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that affect 1.6 million people in the UK as well as their friends and family. Sam, added, “Watching the effect of an eating disorder on a loved one can be extremely distressing; it is difficult to know what to do and how to react or where to turn. It is expected the Peer Support Service will address this gap in provision.”
Neil Holmes, Chair of MGEDT, commented: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with our local NHS Foundation Trust: Sussex Partnership, who have recognised the importance of having a community led Peer Support service within the overall treatment and support for people with an eating disorder in Brighton and Hove, and significantly that men are targeted as a specific group alongside Women and Carers: targeting these three groups individually is essential. We hope that we can build on these positive developments with Sussex Partnership, towards an accessible Peer Support service across Sussex for all members of the community.”
Dr Renate Pantke, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, added: “For some years we have been working together with our partners in the NHS commissioning group towards improving services for people with eating disorders. We are delighted that we are seeing this come to fruition in the developments of the peer support groups as well as the extended Brighton and Hove Eating Disorder service (BHEDS). BHEDS offers interventions to adults with eating disorders of any level of severity. Our close links with the peer support groups will reduce isolation in those affected by eating disorders and facilitate access to treatment.”
Any individual affected by eating disorders and problem eating over the age of eighteen from the Brighton and Hove area is able to attend the groups. Those wishing to attend are welcome to be part of the Peer Support group whether or not they are currently receiving support such as counselling or other therapies.
The men’s, women’s and carers peer support groups will be held monthly on a weekday evening (dates/times tbc) and due to start in the Summer.