Eating Disorders Awareness Week, 1-7 March 2021

From Monday 1st to Sunday 7th March, join Beating Eating Disorders UK, to create a future where people experiencing binge eating disorder are met with understanding and compassion.

Binge eating disorder will affect one in fifty of us in our lifetime, it is the most common but least understood. It isn’t about being greedy or lacking in willpower, but a serious mental illness which many suffer with alone, often with the fear of how others might react the reason they don’t reach out for help.

 

We know the sooner someone gets the treatment they need, the more likely they are to make a full and fast recovery. As well as campaigning to improve the services available, we recognise that we must raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder and encourage and empower people to act now no matter how long their symptoms have been present.

In March, during Eating Disorders Awareness Week you can start to help change that.

Watch their campaign video:

https://youtu.be/ZDAz6JTowxg

About eating disorders:

Around 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from these illnesses, many in secret. They are of all ages, genders and backgrounds – eating disorders do not discriminate.

Eating disorders include:

  • Bulimia
  • binge eating disorder
  • avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)
  • other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED),
  • Anorexia, which tragically has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, though all eating disorders can be deadly.

While this is the worst-case scenario, there are many ways in which eating disorders severely affect the quality of life of both those suffering and those who care about them. They steal childhoods, devastate relationships and pull families apart. But, with the right treatment and support, recovery is possible.

 

“Only 1 in 4 receive the help and support they desperately need to recover from binge eating disorder. Without it, many struggle to get better and some even blame themselves. Sign up to receive your free fundraising pack to support our service for everyone affected by eating disorders.”

 

Why Binge Eating Disorder?

This is the first time a specific eating disorder has been chosen as the theme for Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Binge eating disorder is the most common but often the least understood. It is especially difficult to find treatment and our Helpline Advisors consistently hear that people with binge eating disorder experience significant shame and fear in reaching out for support.

Eating disorders are as diverse as the people they effect, and we are committed to make sure all of our communications and activities represent the broad communities we serve.

In November 2020, 29% of contacts to Beat’s Helpline were about binge eating disorder but only 6% of the media coverage we generated in the last year spoke specifically about binge eating disorder, there is little representation on the ‘your stories’ section on our website, and only 5 of our Ambassadors have lived experience of binge eating disorder. We’ve also never run a campaign that specifically asks for better treatment, despite repeatedly hearing about the particular difficulties people face.

We must challenge the unhelpful and damaging opinions so many people carry about the disorder so people living with this terrible mental illness can find kindness and compassion when they bravely reach out for help. We hope Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2021 will lay the first stone for this to happen.

Beating Eating Disorders UK welcome feedback for any of Beat’s activities and if you would like to do so please email comms@beateatingdisorders.org.uk.

To find out more about Bing Eating disorders, visit: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/types/binge-eating-disorder

 

Helplines:

Help for adults
The Beat Adult Helpline is open to anyone over 18. Parents, teachers or any concerned adults should call the adult helpline.
Helpline: 0808 801 0677
Email: help@beateatingdisorders.org.uk

Help for young people
The Beat Youthline is open to anyone under 18.
Youthline: 0808 801 0711
Email: fyp@beateatingdisorders.org.uk

Company information:

Beat is a charity registered in England and Wales (801343) and Scotland (SC039309). Beat became our working name in February 2007.

Our legally registered charity name is: Beat (Formerly Eating Disorders Association). Beat is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under number 2368495, with registered offices at Unit 1, 19 Rosary Road, Norwich NR1 1SZ. VAT Number: 700 285963.

Time To Talk Day

Time to Talk Day takes place Thursday 4th February 2021 and more than ever, it is important as the global pandemic has detrimentally impacted on our mental health- from the elderly to the young.

Every day and in the month of February, we are reminded about the mental health and wellbeing of our family, friends and work colleagues and especially ourselves.

In a fight to save lives and to social distance, we have become socially isolated from our home comforts; the warmth and simple yet powerful acts such hugging and holding hands, so, having small conversations or videos chats with the people you care about can really have a positive impact on us and make a big difference.

The Power of Small

We know that the more conversations we have, the more myths we can bust and barriers we can break down, helping to end the isolation, shame and worthlessness that too many of us with mental health problems are made to feel.

Time to Talk Day is the day that the nation gets talking about mental health. This year’s event might look a little different, but at times like this open conversations about mental health are more important than ever.

Time To Change need your help to start the conversation this Time to Talk Day – together we can end mental health stigma.

Visit to in out and to take parthttps://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/time-talk-day 

  “Around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem this year yet the shame and silence can be as bad as the mental health problem itself. Your attitude to mental health could change someone’s life.”

Watch Time To Changes’ video on Mental Health:  https://youtu.be/PLAfyb1Q0MY

Ask Twice

“Sometimes we say we’re fine when we’re not. So, we’re asking you, if your mate’s acting differently: ask twice.”

1 in 4 of us experience a mental health problem in any year. And worryingly, the current restrictions on our lives mean men are missing out on support from those around them. So, if a mate says he’s fine, he might not be. A second “How are you?” can make all the difference.

To read more visit:

Myths and Facts- https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/node/103150

Ask Twice- https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/asktwice

Healthy Eating and Fitness

So, Christmas has passed and the New Year looms.  It is that time of the year when we realise, we’ve gained a few extra pounds and our clothes are tighter.  We promise to begin eating healthily and exercising.  For we all know, eating healthily and exercising is good for us. Yet how much do we really know about healthy eating?  Here is a quick quiz to get you started.

https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/tools-calculators/nutrition-quiz

So many diets exist that it can feel overwhelming to find the right one to try.  Some eating patterns have more scientific backing than others. Whether you are looking to shed pounds or simply to boost your overall health, try to find diets that are supported by research. For some idea see here:

https://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/about-us/news/blogs/which-diet-is-right-for-you

Along with healthy eating exercise is important. Exercise need not be boring or difficult.  There are so many good reasons to exercise. You can manage your weight, improve your mood, live longer and ward off heart disease. For some cardio exercise ideas see this page:

https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/cardio-exercises-list#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

To make lasting change requires commitment and motivation, possibly the hardest part of a new healthy lifestyle.  In this Ted Talk, psychologist Dan Ariely discusses a couple tricks that may help us to do the right thing.

https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_how_to_change_your_behavior_for_the_better

Good luck everyone.  Let us know how you do.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs particular seasons.  It is more common in winter, as we adjust to the change in seasons and feel lower in mood and energy.

Symptoms of SAD can include:

  • a persistent low mood
  • a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • irritability
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
  • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

For some people, these symptoms can be severe and have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/

Listen to Sarah’s story and read Vicky’s story

Sarah explains how she developed SAD and what it’s like living with it day to day and Vicky talks about the misconceptions surrounding SAD:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/about-sad/

What can I do to help myself?

There are lots of simple things you can do which might help boost your mood:

  1. Get natural sunlight – Getting outside in the natural sunlight as much as possible can help boost your mood. Even a short daily walk can help. If you find it hard to get out, try and make your home as bright as possible by opening the curtains and sitting near the window.
  2. Stay active – Regular activity, especially outdoors on a bright day, can help with symptoms of low mood and depression.
  3. Connect with others – Winter can make us feel more isolated, but there are lots of ways to keep in touch. From email and text message to a good old-fashioned post, try to find ways to reach out to friends and family.

Age UK’s Call in Time service offers anyone over 60 the opportunity to receive a weekly phone call from a like-minded volunteer. It’s a great way to make a new friend and enjoy regular conversation.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/conditions-illnesses/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/

If you’re feeling down, lacking in energy, or have lost pleasure in the things you used to enjoy, talking can help. Speak to your GP about how you are feeling.

Movember

November is Movember month.

Movember (an annual event) involves the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, i.e. prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide.  It’s serious business!

Globally, men are dying six years earlier than women and from largely preventable causes. To all the men out there concerned about their health, a friend’s or loved one, take action to live healthier, happier and longer lives.

Guys-Some tips for Life

  1. Stay Connected– Talk to the people you care about and make you feel good. Check up and make time for them.
  2.  Talk More– Listening sharing and being there for someone can help be life-saving.
  3.  Know Your Numbers– They say at 50, you should talk to a doctor about prostate cancer but seeking advice earlier on in your late 40s never hurts. For a good overview on prostate cancer see:  https://uk.movember.com/mens-health/prostate-cancer
  4. As November says “Know Thy Nuts” Simple! -Do regular checks and if something isn’t right, see your doctor.
  5.  Move More– add more activity to your daily routine e.g. cycle to work or go for walks in the park.

Helpful NHS Information

For more information on the symptoms, diagnosis and treatments of testicular cancer and prostrate cancer, see the NHS website:

Testicular cancer https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/testicular-cancer/

Prostate cancer https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/

For useful contact numbers if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts again see the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/suicide/

We need to Talk. We need to listen.

Recommended Video to watch

Lloyd Pinder gives his honest story discovering and living with prostate cancer. It encourages all men to get checked.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBhfq-jH_1M

So, what can you do to raise money?

  • Grow a moustache for the month of November and raise money for charity
  • Run or walk 60km over the month. That’s 60km for the 60 men we lose to suicide each hour, every hour across the world.
  • Host a Moment (virtually or in person) host an event to raise money
  • Mo your own way (do your own thing to raise money)
  • Movember in the workplace (get your building/ team involved in raising money)

World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s Month is observed in September every year and was launched in September 2012. The decision to introduce the full month, to contain the existing World Alzheimer’s Day, was made to enable national and local Alzheimer associations worldwide to extend the reach of their awareness programmes over a longer period of time.  Below, we have put together some great resources to help increase awareness.

Continue reading “World Alzheimer’s Month”

Pets and Wellbeing

Having a pet brings many rewards including companionship, affection and exercise.  Here are some links that explore this in more details, highlighting how having a pet can benefit your health and well-being in many ways.

Continue reading “Pets and Wellbeing”

Couch to 5K

This week we are talking about running. The benefits of Cardiovascular exercise are numerous, from enhancing mood to strengthening bones, it’s something we should all try to fit into our lives.   Here are some resources to help you get started.

Taking up running can seem like a scary prospect, especially if you feel out of shape or unfit.  This NHS Couch to 5K will help you gradually work up towards running 5K in just 9 weeks.

Even if you have never run before, follow this straightforward plan for beginners to run 5K without stopping in just eight weeks.

The Fat Girls Guide to Running is the world’s only running resource and support website specifically designed to cater for larger women.  They don’t mind how you describe yourself, large, plus-size, overweight, curvy, chunky, voluptuous or simply FAT, the message is the same, if you want to run you should be able to and you should be able to have safe and positive experiences while doing so.  Click here to find out more.  You can even join hundreds of plus-size runners in their monthly virtual 5K.

Julie is the plus-sized marathon runner from East London behind the global Too Fat to Run? movement which helps women survive and thrive in the sport of running.  This talk encourages women to ditch the diets and their fear of judgement and instead focus on true health and happiness, and living a life full of adventure.

 

Dementia Awareness Week 2017

 

Hot on the winged heels of Mental Health Awareness week (thank you to all colleagues and partners who helped get that information out there) we are promoting Dementia Awareness Week (14 to 21 May 2017), an Alzheimer’s Society initiative, in our libraries.  There are so many myths around Dementia and that is why we recommend the Reading Well books on prescription dementia list.

This is a varied carefully chosen collection consisting of evidenced and researched information books, alongside fascinating and moving personal histories. It also includes a children’s picture book to help younger readers understand beloved members of their families who have been diagnosed with one of 100 conditions that come under the umbrella of Dementia.  Check out the craft book for creative ways of engaging those living well with Dementia.  It is a helpful and uplifting collection.

The second initiative I want tell you about is the Dementia Friends sessions happening this week which are run by a trained Dementia champion. They are relaxed and informative sessions that engage us in such a way that unhelpful fears and misinformation around the subject can be openly discussed and real facts and practical tips on creating Dementia friendly services and how to reach out and support those living well with Dementia come to light.

There are Dementia Friends sessions later this week  at two libraries in our neighbouring borough, Westminster.  These sessions are open to everyone and I urge you to recommend them or even come along yourself:

◾Tuesday 16 May, 1pm at Pimlico Library
◾Friday 19 May, 11am at Church Street Library

Kate Gielgud
Health Information Co-ordinator