Teachers discuss eating disorders issues

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Claire Houston, Clinical Associate Trainer at Beat. Pic Benjamin Lynch © JMU Journalism

Teachers and medical professionals from across Liverpool met to improve their awareness of eating disorders.

Representatives from schools and other formal local organisations were in attendance at Calderstones School in Allerton to help them identify early symptoms of eating disorders.

The itinerary for the day’s proceedings involved group activities and discussions, where those present were invited to share their experiences of working with young people who are suffering.

The course was run by Beat, the UK’s leading charity on promoting awareness surrounding the issue.

Claire Houston, a Clinical Associate Trainer with the charity, spoke of the importance of the event and the significance it may pose for those in attendance, particularly teachers.

She told JMU Journalism: “They are the eyes and ears of the schools. If we can bring those eyes and ears to be alert and aware of eating disorders, they can spot them and nip them in the bud.

YouTube: Benjamin Lynch

“Hopefully, they’ll start seeing the kids that are throwing their lunch away, the kids that are walking around the schoolyard more, the kids that look a little bit sad and are avoiding classes.”

Around 1.25 million people in the UK suffer with an eating disorder of some form. Meanwhile, cases of anorexia in young people are said to be increasing, according to a recent study done in part by the University of Liverpool.

For young people with an average age of between 14 to 15, psychiatrists reported 305 new cases of anorexia during a period of eight months, before the study was published in October of this year.

Ms Houston said: “The average age of onset is about 14 to 25 for people having anorexia, therefore targeting schools is the perfect age group [to identify] that early onset time. But it knows no boundaries when it comes to age, gender or financial status.”

About Benjamin Lynch, JMU Journalism