Over the years i’ve watched many friends take part in fundraising events like Race For Life. I’ve always been so proud of their achievements and amazed by the scale of the events and the energy that surrounds them.
And yet it has always saddened me that there didn’t seem to be anything on a similar scale specifically for mental health. Sure you can take part in a thousand different types of marathons, triathlons or even do a skydive and support individual charities. I thought maybe wanting an event dedicated to this issue was a case of having eyes bigger than my stomach and being too ambitious and did not hold my breath waiting for one.
A few weeks ago I had the genuine pleasure to speak to the man who started it all, CLASP CEO Kenny Johnston. Like me, Kenny is very open about his own experience of mental health issues and it was these experiences that led him to setting up CLASP and the CLASP helpline which will launch later this year.
Watch Kenny in this short video:
The walk will be held on July 19th starting at 8pm and there is a 5, 10 and 25 mile route depending on what you feel capable of. Personally, and sadly I will only be able to do the 5 mile walk at most this year. I am attempting, for once in my life, to be mindful of my limitations and practice some self care.
I will be joined by thousands of others including NHS England, the Department of Health, British Transport Police, Charities, Organisations, MPs and celebrities. The event is gathering huge momentum even before it has begun and I strongly recommend you follow on twitter and follow the hashtag #WalkingOutOfDarkness.
Mention me and get a discount!
I hope you will be joining me on the walk. If you do wish to register you can get a £10.00 discount by using the code “Kat10”. All money donated using this code will given to one of my favourite mental health charities, DWED, who do incredible work on a shoestring.
About Diabetics With Eating Disorders (DWED)
DWED supports people with Type 1 Diabetes and Eating Disorders and their carers in numerous ways including online, by phone and face to face. They also provide advocacy support for service users and training for professionals. I have worked with them recently alongside NHS England, myhealthlondon, London Strategic Clinical Networks and the WellHappy App on a project to raise awareness of Type 1 Eating Disorders and improve outcomes.
The second week of February, well from the 11th to today, the 17th of February it has been the annual Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
Every year i am blown away by the amount of support and awareness raising that goes on during this week, especially by Beat the eating disorders charity.
And this year was no different with both their “Sock it to Eating Disorders” and “Everybody knows somebody” campaigns which both received a lot of high profile support and attention.
Some things i absolutely must mention..
My wonderful friend and London VIR for YoungMinds Amy-Louise posted this inspirational video. Amy-Louise reached out to the online community and asked them to send her their videos and the result is both heartwarming and heart breaking in equal measures.
There were also some amazing blogs this week on YoungMinds website from young people and their families on the themes of Eating Disorders and Recovery. Please remember that all blogs of this nature can be triggering if you are struggling and should be watched only if you are feeling up to it.
And i know this is a bit of a selfish and silly one but i was incredibly excited that i was re-tweeted by Stephen Fry even if it did involve airing his dirty laundry!:
There was also a groundbreaking debate on Eating Disorders held in Parliament on Friday and chaired by Caroline Noakes MP, Head of the APPG on Body Image and a vocal campaigner for change and awareness. I have started talking to her over Twitter and am hoping to meet with her soon.
I will be posting more specifically about this debate in a blog coming soon. Watch this space!
Tomorrow is the start of the annual Eating Disorders Awareness Week. I have been looking forward to it because i know what an amazing job people like the Beat Ambassadors taking the stage they have been given to tell us their stories, to show their campaigns, raise awareness and fight some of the terrible misconceptions about these dangerous disorders.
This year the leading UK Eating Disorder charity Beat are asking us to “Sock it to Eating Disorders!” and i know i will be!
To find out how you can get involved check out Beats helpful page here where you can find out more on how to celebrate and raise money for a great cause. You can also talk to other sufferers and carers on their great message boards and even attend events which you can find here.
You can also Follow Beat on Twitter
As well as these people on Twitter:
Me: I will be tweeting a lot during EDAW13 mostly with my service user hat on here
The big London mental health project i am currently working on which will be tweeting about London Eating Disorder Services, resources and more here :
The absolutely wonderful VIK Project:
And of course YoungMindsUK
Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2012 Roundup
*WARNING* Some of these posts may potentially be a bit triggering due to their subject matter. Please make sure that you are safe while reading.
Last week was Eating Disorder Awareness Week so ithought i would share with you all some of the fantastic blogs and news stories that i’ve seen in case you’ve missed any of them. There has once again been such an amazing outpouring of support, knowledge and activism from all over the world from service users, professionals and other people, such as parents, who have been affected by eating disorders.
I’m going to focus mainly on the work that Beat and their ambassadors have done because they do so much to raise the profile of eating disorders in this country and do have a strong focus on young people so i thought it might be more relevant for readers here at the VIK site. Their theme for this year’s events has been:
“Breaking the Silence”.
So firstly Beat as an organisation have put out a lot of information and resources this week as well as holding a Beat parade in London on Saturday 25th February.
Some of their ambassadors have also been talking about EDs including Olivia talking to Real Radio here:
Ilona Burton, one of my personal favourite bloggers has written a series of articles this week on the subject too:
Splash FM also covered the subject, talking to a therapist who says that GPs often do not know enough about eating disorders and so fail to pick up on patients who are ill:
And also, just so you know the UK’s EDAW is over but our American counterpart’s is still in full swing. For more information on this visit NEDAs website:
First published 1st March 2012: