The latest NHS data shows that from July to September this year the number of urgent referrals for children and young people suffering with eating disorders has almost doubled from the same period in 2019.
On 9 December, Alex Norris MP and I spoke with Dr Agnes Ayton, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Eating Disorder Faculty, mental health campaigner Hope Virgo, the Centre for Mental Health, Beat and Young Minds UK to discuss eating disorders and explore ways to alleviate them.
We urgently need a public mental health strategy which supports people with eating disorders. Christmas can be an especially difficult period, and it is vital that we remain sensitive to the fact that the focus on food and indulgence can cause individuals suffering with eating disorders real distress.
Young people struggling with their mental health need urgent support. Please rest assured that I will continue to press the Government for it.
I look forward to the New Year, where I will be looking to engage further with the sector as well as individuals with lived experience of eating disorders.