MENTAL health services are marking World Eating Disorders Action Day by raising awareness of the illness and encouraging people to speak openly about it.
Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) offers a specialist eating disorder service, provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
They help young people up to the age of 18 from across the county including Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant and Fareham.
Emily David, lead clinical psychologist for Hampshire CAMHS specialist eating disorder service, said: ‘Eating disorders can have a devastating impact on an individual, their health, happiness and daily functioning.
‘It also affects relationships with family and friends.
‘Not only that, eating disorders carry the highest level of risk of any psychiatric disorder.
‘It is for that reason a specialist service like Hampshire CAMHS is so important, to ensure a young person has quick access to the assessments and interventions they need.’
The theme for today’s World Eating Disorder Action Day is ‘we do act to break stigma’, and encourages people to speak openly about eating disorders.
It also looks to share correct information about what eating disorders are.
Emily added: ‘It is important that when young people, families or organisations working with young people are concerned someone might have an eating disorder, they seek accurate information, advice and support.’