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.
If we are to achieve our vision to end the pain and suffering of eating disorders, we need to change the conversation about binge eating disorder. 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.
This year we have been helped by a fantastic group of volunteers, all at various stages in their recovery from binge eating disorder. This means that you’ll see us talking about the illness honestly and authentically, with the messages you see as part of the campaign produced together with people of lived experience. We really cannot say thank you enough to everyone who has been involved.
We always welcome feedback for any of Beat’s activities and if you would like to do so please email email@example.com. We would welcome any thoughts on topics for campaigns in the future.