Image of Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2023

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2023

What is Eating Disorders Awareness Week?

Eating Disorders Awareness week is an awareness event promoted by Beat, a charity formally known as the Eating Disorders Associated. The event focuses on addressing the misconceptions surrounding eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and other eating disorders not other specified (EDNOS).

This year’s Eating Disorder Awareness week is looking to tackle the stigma that men who are affected by eating disorders face and aims to improve people’s understanding of eating disorders as something which can affect anyone, regardless of sex or gender. This year, the awareness week will take place from Monday 27 February to Sunday 5 March.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2023 - #StrangerThingsHaveHappened

To help raise greater awareness around the theme for this year, Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2023 is running in conjunction with the use of a hashtag - #StrangerThingsHaveHappened.

The week is looking to highlight how societal norms and pressures can contribute to some men feeling unable to ask for help for mental health problems, and how this can lead to further damaging myths that conditions such as eating disorders only affect women.

Beat estimate that cases in men account for 1 in 4 eating disorders, though highlights the fact that often the warning signs that may accompany somebody developing an eating disorder aren’t recognised by the people around them.

This is compounded by the findings of Beat’s survey on men’s experiences with eating disorders. The survey discovered that of those who have lived with eating disorders, 1 out 5 had never spoken out about their struggles. Furthermore, 6 out 10 men agreed that the help available to men suffering from eating orders was disappointing.

How many people are affected by eating disorders?

Around 1.25 million people in the UK are estimated to suffer from eating disorders. Not only is this number very high, but it also gives an indication of the high chances of knowing someone who is personally affected.

Eating disorders take many different forms and the umbrella term refers to such conditions as bulimia, binge eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED), and anorexia. Eating disorders are considered mental illnesses and they can have devastating effects on those suffering, their families and their loved ones.

Shockingly, anorexia is the mental health condition with the highest mortality rate, though it’s worth noting that all eating disorders can be deadly. Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2023 aims to break down the barriers which stop people from seeking out the help that they need to beat their condition.

Encouraging healthy relationships with food

Our webinars on helping children and young people develop healthy relationships with food are designed to provide teachers, leaders, governors and trustees with a clearer understanding of eating disorders in children and young people. They also explore what settings can do to promote healthy attitudes towards food and body image as part of a whole-school approach to preventing these illnesses.

There are three of these webinars, one each for nursery settings, primary schools and secondary schools, and can help assist providers with ensuring their duty of care is fulfilled and that any concerns can be addressed in a timely manner.

Certificate in the role of senior mental health lead

Mental health leads are pivotal in supporting schools to implement and sustain an effective whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing.

They’re also crucial to providing a certain level of knowledge and skill which can identify, react and respond to staff or pupils who may be impacted by an eating disorder.

Our certificate in the role of senior mental health lead is an essential course for mental health leads looking to gain a clear understanding of their role. Designed to support senior mental health leads develop a strategic plan which effects change, helps enhance pupil outcomes and delivers greater emotional and physical wellbeing, this course has been assured for DfE grant-funded senior mental health lead training.