North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Beat is pleased to be working with the North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Beat will work alongside the Trust as they establish the Mid-Mersey Children and Young People’s Eating Disorder Service. To ensure as many young people as possible can access the new service when they need it, we aim to help professionals working with young people across the region better understand what an eating disorder is, the signs and symptoms, and what to do if they’re worried about someone.

Help for professionals

The evidence is clear that the sooner someone gets treatment for an eating disorder, the better their chance of fully recovering. While eating disorders can develop at any age, they are more common among young people, with research suggesting that, in 62% of cases, symptoms first appear when the sufferer is under 16.

This means professionals working closely with young people, including teachers, school nurses, counsellors, are in a good position to be able to spot the early signs of an eating disorder and make a referral, helping the person to access treatment as quickly as possible. These professionals might also form a vital part of a young person’s support network as they go through recovery.

Throughout the three years of our partnership with the North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Beat will provide training to professionals working with young people in secondary schools across the region, helping them to learn about:

  • What an eating disorder is and the psychology behind them.
  • The importance of early treatment.
  • What early signs and symptoms to look out for.
  • How to talk to someone they’re concerned about.
  • How to make an effective referral to an eating disorders specialist.

Ongoing support

Once the training is complete, we’ll provide professionals with ongoing guidance to help them continue to support the young people they work with. We’ll offer information packs with further useful resources, a free helpline, and guidance on circulating their knowledge about eating disorders throughout their schools. Through the initial training and continued support, we hope to be able to put professionals in the best position to help young people they are concerned about.