There are concerns for those trying to recover from eating disorders during the coronavirus pandemic after one charity reported a doubling in the number of crisis calls.
BEAT, a national charity which runs a helpline from Warrington, warns lockdown pressures could be triggering both new cases and relapses. with the whole nation now more focused on food and exercise.
Hayley Pearse from Chorley was diagnosed with anorexia in 2012. She is weight stabilised and says she considered herself to be recovered - but that the pressures of lockdown have brought back bad habits.
Caroline Price, Director of Services, BEAT says eating disorders thrive on isolation. The charity has moved as many support services online as possible.
The message is despite social distancing, you don't need to struggle with this illness alone.
BEAT relies on fundraising and needs to fill a million pound hole in its budget with the cancellation of fundraising events across the North West
Charities are now warning that between current cases, relapses, and new illnesses triggered by lockdown, the North West could be facing a real epidemic of eating disorders.
And if demand rises while charities have reduced means to fundraise - vital and life-saving services could disappear.
In Lancashire, S.E.E.D supports those waiting for NHS treatment.
It's quite emotive work that we do, because you can physically see sometimes how frail somebody is. And you wonder, "Are they going to make it to next week?" Particular at the moment when a lot of emergency services aren't functioning as they might have been, mental health services in particular, and it feels quite scary. The consequences of us disappearing for people in Lancashire would be colossal. The NHS services that are there are absolutely fantastic, but there are too many people with an eating disorder, too many people are struggling with not enough capacity. So we need to be there.
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