East Yorkshire charities team up to help people with eating disorders

Credit: ITV News

The mental health charity Hull and East Yorkshire Mind has teamed up with SEED Eating Disorder Support Services to help people affected by eating disorders.

The new partnership will see East Yorkshire Mind make SEED's advice line a 24-hour service, having previously just been answered by co-founder Marg Oaten MBE in her living room.

SEED was founded by Marg after her daughter, Gemma Oaten, suffered from anorexia.

The charity said that they have seen a huge increase in referrals since the pandemic began, with an 1166% area increase in out of area support.

There has been a 30% increase in calls, with Marg having to spend over 25 hours ringing people back since January.

Former Emmerdale actress Gemma is now the manager of SEED and told ITV News that making sure that support is there for people with eating disorders is critical during the pandemic.

She said: "The thing with an eating disorder is, it's not about the food, food is the symptom it's not the cause. It's about what is going on in your mind, its a mental health illness and it thrives off making the person believe that by having an eating disorder they are in control.

"An eating disorder makes you lose control over everything, however, when it comes to a world where we've lost control over everything, people don't know when they're going back to work; kids don't know when they're going back to school...they don't know what's around the corner.

"If you add that element to human beings who are already struggling it makes it even more exacerbated. It puts a microscope and a pressure cooker on those who are already struggling already."

Hull and East Yorkshire Mind was founded in 1976 and supports around 5500 people in the region every year.

Marg Oaten MBE, Co-Founder and Secretary of SEED said: "I am absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with Hull and East Yorkshire Mind. 

"They have gone over and above expectations to make sure they are confident in advising and signposting in the right direction. It will be a pleasure to work with Hull and East Yorkshire Mind in the future and work in partnership in other areas too."

Emma Dallimore, Chief Executive at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind said: "We are so excited to be partnering with SEED by supporting them with their advice line.

"Unfortunately, we are seeing that eating disorders are rising, therefore by working together, we can ensure that more people are able to get the help they deserve at a time they need it most."

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