It has been an exciting year for the Eating Disorders Health Integration Team (ED HIT) with the launch of the Eating Disorder Support app. We developed the app with Expert Self Care, and co-produced content with topic experts and other partners including Anorexia & Bulimia Care and SWEDA.
The app enables people with eating disorders and those close to them to find useful information, self-care tips and links to support all in one place. Since its launch the app has been downloaded more than 5,700 times and feedback has been very positive. We are promoting the app with posters and cards designed by our public contributors lead Carolyn Trippick. Carolyn and our peer co-director Katie Wild were also involved in creating a free winter well-being art pack to help people affected by eating disorders and eating problems, as a way of encouraging self-care.
ED HIT has been actively supporting the work of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire’s (BNSSG) Community Mental Health Programme Eating Disorders steering group. HIT co-director Sanni Norweg and Jade Southron (Peer Support Worker) have led the sub-group in developing eating disorder services in the region. Sanni was also involved in introducing Eating Disorder Peer Support Worker posts in Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust. Peer support workers are people with lived experience of eating disorders who draw on their experience to support and empower others in their recovery journey.
Lots of eating disorder information available on social media is unhelpful. ED HIT co-director, Helen Malson, collaborated with colleagues from Loughborough University and UK eating disorders charity Beat to create an animation that provides useful advice on how people affected with eating disorders can navigate social media safely. Paula Saukko, who led the project, explained: “The video gives top tips on how to keep boundaries on social media by unfollowing content on diets or that fuel negative thoughts and moderating consumption and interaction with friends by muting or switching off when feeling overwhelmed”. The project was supported by funding from Loughborough University.
We have also secured BNSSG Research Capability Funding for research into improving primary care for people with eating disorders, and funding from the Economic and Social Research Council Emerging Minds network to develop a special interest research group for young people with experience of an eating disorder. We held our first meeting for the group in June.