Spotlight on Eating Disorders and Mental Health in Young People
It has been a particularly difficult time for young people over the past year and recent data has shown the number of people experiencing problems with eating disorders has risen sharply. These are more common in women, who make up 75% of cases, but also affect men. The average age is 16-19 years old.
Signs to flag up an eating disorder are, someone restricting the amount of food they eat, binge eating, having worries about body image, fear gaining weight or that they are visibly losing weight. Other symptoms include self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise or using weight loss medications or laxatives. Physical signs of eating disorders are periods stopping, hair loss and muscle weakness.
If you have concerns about a possible eating disorder, please contact your GP for further advice.
Excellent support is available from two UK charities, BEAT and Anorexia & Bulimia Care, with helplines for both those struggling personally and their families:
Eating disorders are just one of a range of mental health conditions that can affect young people, particularly in these challenging times. If you’re a parent or carer looking for more advice or resources to help, the following websites can help:
The following organisations provide mental health support and advice aimed at young people:
www.youngminds.org.uk – includes a parent’s helpline and 24/7 text support for young people
www.themix.org.uk/ – for under 25s with a helpline and online support
www.childline.org.uk/ – online and helpline support for young people
We hope you find this information useful in supporting our young people, particularly in the current circumstances we face.
Dr Rosalynne Perry, GP
A New Service – Social Prescribing
Social prescribing is a way of supporting patients to address and overcome any non-medical issues they may be facing. Factors such as inadequate housing, unemployment and social isolation contribute to poor health and can present in both physical and mental health difficulties.
Your GP surgery can refer you on to a Social Prescribing Link Worker, who will work with you to find out what is important to you and help you to make positive changes to your lifestyle and wellbeing. Each situation is unique, but as a team we have helped patients to access benefits, employment support, mental health services such as counselling or outdoor wellbeing groups and volunteering placements.
We have 30 minutes to 1 hour for appointments which allows time to listen and understand the needs and wants of each individual. We also work closely with many services and organisations, allowing for a multi-agency approach to support. The number of appointments is entirely dependent on each patient, their preferences and circumstances.
If you feel you’d benefit from social prescribing, please contact your surgery and ask for a referral. We will then get in touch with you for an informal discussion about how we may be able to help.
Charlotte Tayte and Michelle Murphy – Social Prescribers for Kenilworth and Warwick Primary Care Network
Monday-Friday – 8.00am-6.30pm
Tel – 01926 857331
Facebook – @CastleMedKenilworth
Twitter – @Castle_Med
22 Bertie Road, Kenilworth, CV8 1JP