Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019: 'Education to spot the signs is key'

PUBLISHED: 07:01 01 March 2019

Hannah Brown. Picture: East London NHS Foundation Trust

Hannah Brown. Picture: East London NHS Foundation Trust

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During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week Langford woman Hannah Brown has spoken out about her own struggles with anorexia, the importance of spotting the signs and encouraging others to educate themselves.

The theme for this year’s awareness week – which launched on Monday – is ‘Come as You Are’, which aims to create inclusivty in the eating disorder community.

Hannah was admitted to an acute ward at the age of 23 and continues to struggle with the daily pressures that the illness brings.

Hannah, now aged 28, told the Comet: “There are so many areas of my life that my illness affected, areas that far surpassed that of just my diet.

“I know that with the right education and tools, people could have been better equipped to spot some of the earlier warning signs that someone may display who is becoming seriously unwell.

“If every organisation including schools, GP surgeries and community mental health teams allocated just one person to act as an eating disorder mentor, undertaking the commitment to have a greater level of ED related understanding, one more person might be helped, supported and ultimately saved.

“I maintain that recovery is possible and hope that no matter how low things may seem, people struggling find the courage – this week and every week – to reach out for help.”

The 28-year-old also spreads her message far and wide, reaching out to teams across the area offering tailored workshops designed to increase foundation understanding.

Hannah is organising a Recovery Fayre to mark the awareness week as part of her role within Beds and Luton Adult Community Eating Disorder Service and continues to run a personal peer support site, An Ear To Hear, which offers one to one guidance through eating disorder recovery, depression and anxiety.

The Recovery Fayre, which aims to increase awareness, will take place at The Higgins in Bedford this Saturday from 11am to 3pm.

For more information on either receiving her support or welcoming her to your organisation, email hbsouthland@gmail.com, follow her on Twitter, @aneartohearhlb or head to her site – aneartohear.co.uk.

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