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10% increase in usage of eating disorder support services

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Bodywhys: The Eating Disorders Association of Ireland can report in 2015 there was:

A 48% overall increase in support emails
A 19% increase in attendance at face-to-face support groups
Compared to 2014, in 2015 there was a 19% increase in email contacts from those aged 36-55 and a 9% increase in helpline calls from this demographic.
Approximately half of all helpline callers, 51%, were not in any form of treatment
46% of all helpline callers, and 44% of email contacts, had experienced an eating disorder for over 10 years
Across all services, approximately 11.5% of support contacts related to binge eating disorder

Harriet Parsons, Services Manager with Bodywhys said: “In recent years, we have seen a change in the age profile of those who access our support services. This has continued in 2015 with a rise in contacts from people aged 36-55. This is further evidence that eating disorders are not confined to teenagers.”

Parsons added: “The figures from our Annual Report 2015 reflect that eating disorders continue to affect a broad range of people and that they require a number of support resources. Individual support, such as by phone or email, as well as peer support in a group setting, are vital to opening up for the first time, in managing a relapse or as a way of reducing isolation.”

Parsons said: “An eating disorder is not something a person ‘chooses’ to do. It is a health crisis. It often develops over a period of time and has a significant effect on an individual’s physical and mental health. Our message to anyone who is living with an eating disorder is that it is not too late to seek support and that full recovery is possible.”


People can and do recover from eating disorders


Notes for Editors

  • Bodywhys is the national voluntary organisation supporting people affected by eating disorders
  • The Department of Health and Children estimates that 200,000 people in Ireland are affected by eating disorders
  • Bodywhys Helpline Number: LoCall 1890 200 444

For further information, please contact:

Harriet Parsons, Services Manager

Tel: 01 283 4963