Supporting the Supporters – Families Need Help to Care
If you’ve been in a family plagued by an eating disorder, you’ll know how devastating the ripple effect can be.
You’ll understand how much stress, tension, fear and heartache is caused.
It’s why we at Wednesday’s Child, right from the moment of launch, have set out to support the Recovery Champions, and to ensure that we can aid and assist those who are cheerleading the recovery journey of someone else.
This week brought a step from the charity BEAT, in terms of calling for healthcare professionals to pay more attention to the support it gives to families and carers.
It has appealed to healthcare providers to adopt eight best practice standards, encouraging them to:
- Have a policy that ensures optimum involvement of and support for all carers as soon as a loved one starts treatment.
- Train all service staff in the application of the policy and these standards with particular focus on the importance of carers as a resource for recovery.
- Provide all carers with useful and comprehensive information about eating disorders when their loved one receives a diagnosis.
- Offer all carers and siblings an assessment of their own needs when a loved one receives an eating disorder diagnosis, continue to monitor their wellbeing throughout the sufferer’s treatment and, where necessary, refer carers to specialist services.
- Offer all carers options for peer-to-peer support.
- Offer all carers opportunities to learn the necessary skills to provide optimum support for their loved ones.
- Inform and engage carers when a loved one faces a transition between services and ensure that effective communication between both services and carers takes place.
- Provide a mechanism by which carers’ input and feedback is sought and acted upon.
These steps are all really important, and we hope to see more and more healthcare professionals and practitioners embracing such standards, in order to make it that much easier for families to play a healthy and robust role during a recovery story.
We’re already well under way with some of this work at Wednesday’s Child.
You’ll know that we’re providing Supportive Suppers for parents and carers to create their own peer networks; we’re creating educational training for parent groups, as well as for teachers and student peers; and we’re working directly with those involved in mental health and direct primary care activity, to ensure that they’re able to feel better educated around the intricacies of eating disorders.
On top of all this, we’ve developed our carefully curated wellbeing boxes, which have been winging their way from one end of the UK to the other, and across the miles to Australia, Canada and the USA, all to help add to the supportive efforts which both medics and families can provide.
If you’d like to know anything more about our projects and our training, or wish to find out about our wellbeing boxes, please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jul 2019