New Year, New Approach?
This is something of a gentle but determined plea to all you teachers, pastoral leads, school welfare specialists and nursing teams.
Please – let’s make 2020 the year that your school is able to deliver a more robust approach in respect of the devastating world of eating disorders.
Throughout the Christmas season so far, we’ve heard from three separate senior teachers, all of whom have expressed similar levels of fear, frustration and utter confusion about how they might go about assisting pupils when the new term begins in January.
Each one of these teachers has come to recognise issues of an existing eating disorder in a pupil, or of the vulnerability toward one.
One, in particular, references something of a ‘culture’ toward eating disorders and body dysmorphia, within the fee-paying UK school at which they teach.
Thank goodness for such teachers who desire to ‘be the change’ and who are compelled to reach out and enquire about resources like ours.
Anecdotal evidence tells us that in 2020, something like one in five school-aged children will experience an eating disorder to some degree.
That shocking statistic hints at the huge and rising rate of this illness, and the way it is infiltrating the lives of our young people.
What we know, therefore, is that it’s not good enough for a school to think itself lucky that ‘at the moment’ it doesn’t seem to have a struggling child on their registers. It’s highly likely that there is a child already suffering, or who will be in the terms and years ahead.
That’s why, in 2019 we began developing our unique School Protocol around eating disorders.
It’s specifically designed to help better educate teachers and pastoral leads about the illness, and about its causes, its consequences – and the ways in which we can better help young people recover.
Our work involves working alongside a school, providing training for teachers and nursing staff; educating parents of pupils; and reaching out to students themselves, through assemblies, and through the provision of one-2-one listening services.
If you’re reading this because you’re a teacher or school-based staff member who already recognises an issue or the potential for one, please, pick up the phone or drop us an email.
Together, let’s go into 2020 knowing that your school is taking a determined approach to dealing with this mental health illness in a considered and resourceful way.
For too long, it’s been thought that eating disorders are merely a ‘silly schoolgirl fad’ or something which is nothing more than a vanity exercise to gain attention.
Let us be the voice that reminds you – and all of society – that this is SO MUCH MORE than a fashionable or faddy approach to dieting or attention-seeking.
Eating disorders carry the highest mortality rate of any mental health illness, and desperately need early intervention if we’re to help young people stay well, or return to health.
We welcome your enquiries and your interest.
Please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dec 2019