An app that enables people with disordered eating and eating disorders, and people close to them, to find useful information, self-care tips and links to support has been launched by Bristol Health Partners’ Eating Disorders Health Integration Team (ED HIT).
An estimated 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder - and their number has risen sharply during the pandemic. Eating disorders have different causes and can lead to serious health problems - even death.
Early diagnosis and treatment improve outcomes, but long waiting lists for care and gaps in service provision mean that many people with eating disorders don’t get the help and support they so desperately need.
The Eating Disorder Support app has been developed by ED HIT and Expert Self Care, and co-produced with public contributors, topic experts, charities and other partners, including Anorexia & Bulimia Care, Buzz Consulting, First Steps ED, PANS PANDAS UK and Somerset & Wessex Eating Disorders Association.
The app, which is free to download for iPhone on the Apple App Store and for Android on Google Play, makes reliable, evidence-informed information about eating disorders more easily accessible, in one place, even when offline.
It aims to educate people about eating disorders and explain what to do next when concerned or in crisis; promote wellbeing and safe self-care to help people prevent, address and solve eating problems; and signpost services and support to make people aware of useful resources and how to get help.
The app covers eight areas:
ED HIT is a team of people with lived experience of eating disorders or problems, their family, friends and partners, clinicians, academics, students, voluntary sector workers and others, working to improve the lives of people affected by or at risk of developing eating disorders in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. It is led by Dr Helen Malson, Associate Professor in Social Psychology, University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol, Dr Sanni Norweg from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) Eating Disorders community team, and Katie Wild and Carolyn Trippick, who are both experts by experience for AWP.
Katie Wild, ED HIT peer co-director, says:
“We are so pleased that the Eating Disorders Support app is now available to download. We hope that the information that has been put together by a large team, with varying experiences, will provide support and signpost people to where to access more help. We want to thank everyone who has volunteered their time to make this app possible.”
"The eating disorder support app is so amazing. There is so much information, coping strategies, advice for tackling lots of situations and so much information in one place, and it’s so well presented and easily accessible. It has a wealth of information in one place that covers so many recovery tools, wellbeing tools, ideas for practical things to make and have to ride the wave, and also help for carers/ relatives. It’s clear a lot of thought and expertise has gone into it. I feel it’s unique and it is a one-stop-shop for so much information and support."
Eating Disorder Service User
"This app is extremely useful either as a person with an ED or for anyone wishing to learn how to best support someone with an ED. It is packed full of useful information, easy to navigate and accessible. As a teacher I would say it is an excellent resource for supporting young people and helping to identify early signs. So useful to have so much information all in one place."
The app offers local information for Bath, Bristol, North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
Other areas will also be able to add their own local information over time.
Download for iPhone on the Apple App Store
Download for Android on Google Play
Or search 'Eating Disorder Support app' in your app store.