Sunday 24th January 2021

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This is how we share information and good practices relating to mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges

What's New

NEWS: The AcSEED Newsletter

14th December 2020

AcSEED Newsletter for December 2020

NEWS: On-line Wellbeing Support

11th December 2020

Kooth: An on-line Mental Health Support Platform

NEWS: Mental Health in Schools Conference

11th November 2020

Report from the Westminster Insight conference on Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools

NEWS: Fairfield Road Accreditation

20th October 2020

Fairfield Road Primary School receive AcSEED Award

NEWS: Newport Girls' get AcSEED Award

31st August 2020

Congratulations to Newport Girls' High School in Shropshire ...

NEWS: First AcSEED Wellbeing Centre

25th June 2019

Trinity School and College opens the first AcSEED Wellbeing Centre

Eating Disorders Awareness Week

11th February 2013 ... Charlotte

Today marks the start of Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2013. Eating disorders are commonly misunderstood and misrepresented, especially within the media who often focus only on emaciated teenage girls. The reality is anyone of any gender, age, or background can develop an eating disorder. Furthermore even an individual who appears to be normal or overweight can be suffering with an eating disorder, their body subject to both physical and psychological damage. A growing rate of children are being hospitalised at younger ages for life threatening eating disorders. The majority of young people will at some point worry about their weight or body image. Whilst these insecurities alone may not warrant an eating disorder diagnosis it could potentially develop into something more serious. Early intervention for eating disorders is vital; if left untreated recovery can often take longer.

So what role can schools play in helping students with eating disorders?

As previously stated anyone can develop a eating disorder. However particularly vulnerable students may be high achieving, hard working and possibly perfectionists. In many ways the ideal student, it is important that these individuals are encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyles and receive support for any difficulties.

Individuals suffering with an eating disorder can often be very secretive about their behaviours and may even deny to themselves that there is a problem. This can make it challenging for outsiders to recognise that a student may be struggling. There is no harm in familiarising yourself with common signs and symptoms, however please bear in mind that everyone's experience of an eating disorder is individual so be cautious of making assumptions about individual students.

There are mixed opinions on how best to address and raise awareness of eating disorders within the school environment. The last thing anyone wants is to inadvertently promote eating disorders, and certainly any work focusing on eating disorders should refrain from mentioning weights, numbers or behaviours, and should focus instead on thoughts and feelings. Many organisations and charities run classes on self esteem and body image that deliberately avoid details that may be triggering, and are applicable to all students as they target self-worth and confidence.

To read stories from young people who experienced an eating disorder during their school years please visit our Student Stories webpage

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