Young people and staff at Newbridge House have been “socking it to eating disorders” to mark Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

They wore brightly coloured socks and produced posters and bunting in support of the campaign, running February 22 to 28. Eating disorders awareness week is led by national eating disorders charity Beat, to raise vital funds and build wider understanding of the conditions that affect millions of people.

On Friday 26 February, people in schools, colleges and workplaces across the country were encouraged to wear bright and silly socks to show their support for eating disorders awareness.

Additionally, the creative art group at Newbridge made posters and bunting exploring the theme.

Senior occupational therapist Siobhan McTiernan explains: “We always support Beat’s Eating Disorders Awareness week at Newbridge House. We are very aware of the great work they do both in terms supporting people who have eating disorders and equally in building understanding of these disorders in society as a whole.

“Our young people really enjoy getting involved and playing their part in supporting Beat. We have many talented and creative young people, so it will be a bright and colourful day a Newbridge, all for a very good cause.”

For this year’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Beat is putting the spotlight on the impact eating disorders can have in the workplace and talking about what can be done to support an individual’s recovery at work.

This was in response to many calls to Beat’s hotline, from both individuals with eating disorders and concerned colleagues and employers looking for guidance about how to help.

Beat’s Eating Disorders a Work Survey 2015 found:

  • More than 30% of people felt they were stigmatised or discriminated against because of their eating disorder at work
  • Nearly two in five people said their employers’ impact on their recovery was ‘unhelpful’
  • Two thirds of people were unable to access a formal or informal mechanism of support for their eating disorder at work

Rachel Matthews, clinical manager of Newbridge House commented: “This is a really important and relevant theme. As a provider of services for people aged eight to 18, once young people leave our service, they usually return to school or college.

“We work closely with schools and colleges to ensure the understanding and support mechanisms they need are in place.

“All of us spend a great deal of our time in our workplace, school or college and for someone who has an eating disorder, our work or education environment can have a powerful impact in terms of supporting recovery, or unfortunately, making things worse.

“We welcome the focus on this area and the recognition that schools, colleges and workplaces have an important, positive role to play in tackling eating disorders.”