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Anorexia programme aids patients' recovery

A 12-week course in Lincolnshire is proving beneficial in helping people with the condition

Mental Health PracticeA programme in Lincolnshire for people with eating disorders is providing huge benefits in helping patients with their recovery process, an article in Mental Health Practice reports.

An anorexia programme was set up in January 2013 by a small team of eating disorder nurses at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to fill the gap in services for people with the condition.

More than 1.6 million men and women of all ages and backgrounds are estimated to have an eating disorder, although national statistics are scarce.

More people die from eating disorders than any other mental illness: one in five people who have anorexia will die prematurely from the consequences of starvation or from suicide.

Ali Young, a support worker for adults with learning difficulties who has recovered from anorexia, now does bank shifts on the nurse-led programme in Lincolnshire. He said that if he had had access to such a service, it would have made a ‘massive difference’.

‘I would not have been so isolated or ended up extremely ill in hospital,’ he said.

Pressure on services is increasing as more people are diagnosed with the condition and the programme in Lincolnshire is also experience an increase in referrals.

The 12-week programme, which runs three days a week, aims to promote healthy eating habits and attitudes, including meal planning, as well as address the psychological factors underpinning and maintaining the eating disorder. Participants are also encouraged to recognise and manage their emotions and be more exposed gradually to social situations.

Nurse specialist Charlotte Long, who works on the programme, said: ‘The team is skilled in engaging individuals, motivational interviewing and building therapeutic relationships. We discuss concerns about entering treatment and convey how difficult it can be.’

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Anorexia programme gives patients a fighting chance

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