Eating disorders are not new illnesses, but there has been a massive rise in cases during the pandemic. Unacceptable delays before treatment means we are also seeing a rise in avoidable chronic long-term illness and loss of life.
No-one should be condemned to a life of illness, nor should anyone be dying of an eating disorder in 2023.
Those suffering are so often hidden in plain sight amongst all ages, genders races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations and socio-economic status, affecting every aspect of society.
They are serious, biologically based mental illnesses deserving of equal clinical and research funding to that given to other complex diseases. We want to ensure that no-one with an eating disorder need experience shame or guilt, and everybody should have timely access to specialist services.
#changethestory is changing the face of eating disorders so that everyone can get the right support, we are fighting the stigma together to end the injustices.
The film has been used in Parliament to raise awareness and across social media platforms to bring the conversation into the light!
Hope Virgo is an author and international multi award winning campaigner for people with eating disorders. Hope formed the Hearts Minds and Genes Coalition for eating disorders to bring together experts and end the injustices people affected by eating disorders face .
In 2018, Hope launched #DumpTheScales which called on the government to stop using BMI as the primary measure to determine whether someone with an eating disorder would qualify for NHS support. Her petition generated over nearly 150,000 signatures and was delivered to Number 10 Downing Street. The #DumpTheScales campaign which put eating disorders on the Government's agenda has gone from strength to strength making change happen on a national scale. Hope bow works closely with the government on policy and best practise.
For four years, Hope managed to keep it hidden, keeping dark secrets from friends and family. But then, on 17th November 2007, Hope's world changed forever. She was admitted to a mental health hospital. Her skin was yellowing, her heart was failing. She was barely recognizable. Forced to leave her family and friends, the hospital became her home. Over the next year, at her lowest ebb, Hope faced the biggest challenge of her life. She had to find the courage to beat her anorexia.
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