Are universities doing enough to support students with eating disorders?

23rd October 2013

B-eat are working to improve university support for sufferers of eating disorders

The eating disorder charity B-eat has urged Universities to offer more help to students with eating disorders, as many students struggle to get the treatment they need. They want universities to take part in a leafleting campaign, warning that without help, students with eating disorders are at risk of dropping out of University.

Beat conducted a survey of over 200 students with eating disorders, findings included:
• 32% were diagnosed after starting their course
• 18% said their condition had forced them to drop out of University
• 39% had to take a break my from their studies
• And 52% said that their University was not doing enough to support students

Six months ago Miranda and Genie interviewed two students, Jess and Mel, here at The University of Nottingham about how they coped with their eating disorders whilst being at univeristy And today I caught up with Mel, who has just graduated, to hear her thoughts on B-eat’s campaign;

The leaflets that B-eat have created are aimed at students and show the ways friends can support those with eating disorders. The leaflet lists the facts about eating disorders, what friends should expect when talking to sufferers and how they can help, as well as listing the signs of an eating disorder so people can be aware of what sufferers are going through.

We asked Mike Dore, Welfare officer at The Student’s Union about what the University does to help eating disorder sufferers at the moment;

B-eat at Nottingham University offer fortnightly self-help group, these meetings aren’t just for sufferers but also their family and close friends. They take place in C4/5 in Portland Building from 7.30-9pm and the next meeting is on the 30th October, they are free of charge and you don’t need to book a place.

You can also get support through GPs at Cripps Health Centre as well as the University Counselling Service which provides individual counselling service for students and staff and have produced a booklet ‘Eating Difficulties: getting support’.

If you want any information on how you can get help then also visit the B-eat website which includes the leaflet they hope universities will distribute.

Click here to hear the full interview with Jess and Mel who talked about how they coped with university life and an eating disorder.

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