Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Exeter students call for improved care for people with eating disorders

Exeter Beats Eating Disorders says care should be provided at an earlier stage. Photo: ITV West Country

A group of students from Exeter are calling on the NHS and the University to improve the care offered to people with eating disorders.

Exeter Beats Eating Disorders says it fears people will only be offered help too late and only if they are critically ill.

Exeter Beats Eating Disorders aims to raise awareness of eating disorders. Credit: ITV West Country

Jennifer Fletcher is a student at Exeter University.

She says she has struggled with anorexia for the last five years.

But it was her experience with trying to access help when she came to study that made her decide to create EBED.

Jennifer says the group has made a difference but is calling for further support.

While Exeter University does have a support service for students who are having mental health problems, there is nothing specifically geared to eating disorders.

The university says it provides a range of support for students with mental health difficulties, including those with eating disorders and says it will be running a group this year to support students around eating issues.

Exeter University says it provides a range of support for students with mental health difficulties. Credit: ITV West Country

Eating Disorders Devon says the current NHS criteria for care to be provided is dangerous.

To decide a mental illness on physical criteria whether you get help or not is ridiculous. To reach a certain threshold, to be bad enough before you get help, is ridiculous.

Early intervention is key to a good long-term recovery of eating disorders and the longer it is left to get established, the harder it is to turn it around.

– Gill Wilson, Eating Disorders Devon

Devon Partnership NHS Trust says it takes the issue very seriously and is working to create a community eating disorder unit for Devon.

  • You can find more information and advice about eating disorders on the NHS website.