Invaluable support for families of people with eating disorders

Invaluable support for families of people with eating disorders

Advice and information clinics set up by a nurse are providing careers and relatives with the information they need to support people with eating disorders.

Shelley Perry.  Picture credit: Neil O'ConnorShelley Perry. Picture credit: Neil O'Connor

Having recovered from an eating disorder herself, Shelley Perry knew the importance of giving relatives, friends and partners information, support and advice to help them manage a range of distressing emotions, particularly panic, worry and guilt.

The clinical director of Breathe Therapies set up the friendly, relaxed sessions as part of the nurse-led range of services offered by the eating disorder charity.

They include educational group work focusing on topics such as healthy eating and realistic expectations. Information is practical and relevant.

Open support sessions give attendees the chance to raise and discuss any problems they have. These have proved an invaluable source of peer support and are helping to develop a network of families who experience similar difficulties, enabling them to share experiences, concerns and explore ways forward.

Shelley Perry.  Picture credit: Neil O'ConnorShelley Perry. Picture credit: Neil O'Connor

Family therapy is provided as needed and monthly family sessions are offered. Shelley is never more than a telephone call away for families and careers, and also runs online support groups.

To expand the service, and ensure sustainability, Shelley is training and developing a group of volunteers to deliver the clinics.

Shelley says: ‘I am thrilled and honored to have been shortlisted for the award, not just to have my own work acknowledged but also for our hardworking and dedicated team.

‘The work and interventions delivered by our service are essential for early intervention and where individuals would otherwise be hospitalized.

‘Our services are reducing the impact on the NHS by reducing hospital admissions and keeping individuals engaged in their communities, while improving mental and physical health. Our nurse-led holistic services are groundbreaking in their individualized approach to health and wellbeing.’

About the sponsor

NHS England

NHS EnglandNHS England’s mission is to ensure health and high quality care for all, now and future generations. NHS England creates the culture and conditions for health and care services and staff to deliver the highest standard of care and ensure that valuable public resources are used effectively to get the best outcomes for individuals, communities and society for now and for future generations.

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