Helen Malson and Hugh Herzig, Directors of the Eating Disorders Health Integration Team (EDHIT), reflect on the team's work and achievements over the last year.
Eating disorders (EDs) are a range of conditions that significantly impact upon people’s physical, psychological and social wellbeing. They have some of the highest levels of morbidity and mortality associated with any mental health problem.
Eating disorders mainly affect girls and young women but they can affect people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. They can affect people for years and are associated with substantial health and social care costs as well as devastating people’s lives.
The aims of the Eating Disorders Health Integration Team (EDHIT) are to improve the care pathways for people with eating disorders by bringing together clinicians, academics and people with lived experience of eating disorders for networking, dialogue and research. In particular we aim to:
Since becoming an approved Health Integration Team in March 2016 we have hosted several research events and open evenings.
We held a very successful launch event at the Arnolfini in October. It was attended by more than 50 people, including patients and ex-patients, members of the public, academics, students and health care professionals, including the chair of Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Trust. The event had a strong patient and public involvement theme, with an exhibition of artwork produced by patients and a keynote talk by the artist and author Katie Green.
We have also been publicising EDHIT’s work in the local media and at academic and clinical conferences both here and abroad.
In our first year we have already launched several projects. These include:
It has been a busy year but there is still much to achieve!