EDIP- Bonus episode – Weight for height (WFH) explained..



Many of you have been asking what weight for height (WFH) is and how it’s used in eating disorder treatment and assessment. Here’s a brief explanation..

If you’d like to add your voice to the discussion, contact the Eating Disorder Insights Podcast on:

Email:- eatingdisorderinsights@gmail.com

Twitter:- @ED_Insights_Pod

Voice Message:https://www.speakpipe.com/eatingdisorderinsights

Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Modern Jazz Samba” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

“Samba Stings” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


EDIP-S3 EP2 – Breaking the silence..



It’s been an interesting  time since the last episode was released where I’ve spent time talking to lots of families who are very keen to share their stories about their experience treatment within the UK and have agreed to be interviewed on the podcast. Along side this, I placed a note on Becki and Jen’s Facebook support group asking if it would be okay to quote some of their posts on the podcast to help with better understanding.. Over 120 families gave me total permission to share their posts with you.. so many families want to support change and want you to hear and understand the current issues around eating disorder provision.

I have also put the same shout out on professional forums.. but the uptake has been somewhat lower and more surprisingly some have asked to remain anonymous, stating concern about what would happen if their identity was known. It’s clear that some may have difficult into share, but some are keen to share innovative projects and be part of the discussion to inform change..

In this episode, I give you a small sample of some of the issues that families face.. come listen

If you’d like to add your voice to the discussion, contact the Eating Disorder Insights Podcast on:

Email:- eatingdisorderinsights@gmail.com

Twitter:- @ED_Insights_Pod

Voice Message:https://www.speakpipe.com/eatingdisorderinsights

Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Modern Jazz Samba” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

“Samba Stings” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


EDIP-S3 EP1 – Are services gridlocked, overstretched and poorly trained?



The last few weeks have been a total eye opener for me.

I’m a clinician in the NHS. I have worked in NHS specialist eating disorder teams in the UK and I’m proud of what my teams have done to help families to understand, take charge and recover from this vile and dangerous illness. Even with the knowledge that we could do more with more resources, we still leave work at the end of the day feeling like we helped to make a change. We get praise and gratitude from the families that we help, we see lives that were stuck in fragmented chaos slowly return to normal and we use research and studies to make sure that we are providing the best treatment that exists for eating disorders. This all adds up to a very safe and satisfying feeling as a professional.

But over the last few weeks I’ve come to learn that there are hundreds and hundreds of families that don’t feel as happy and satisfied as I do about the provision of treatment in the UK. For some there is a distinct difficulty in accessing treatment. I have heard stories about lack of understanding about eating disorders in GPs, A&E departments, Paediatrics, child and adolescent mental health teams (CAMHS) and more surprisingly, in specialist CAMHS eating disorder teams. Some families have had to battle for their concerns for their child to be heard even in the face of very clear and obvious physical signs of ill health. This has left some families scared, anxious and confused about what to do or where to go for advice and support.

So is this the experience of ‘a few’ families? Sadly, no.. this is the experience of hundreds of families in the UK. Many are turned away from services for reasons such as ‘your child doesn’t meet the criteria’, ‘your child needs to be motivated for treatment’ , ‘your child has another mental health condition that can’t be treated by this team’ , ‘your child’s Body Mass Index (BMI) or Weight for Height (WFH) is in the normal range’. These are just a few of the reasons stated by families – there are many more. More worrying, these families all share a common feeling – Their opinion and voice is not important and is often ignored. But the backbone if treatment in the UK is FAMILY BASED INTERVENTION.. How are we as teams missing this and leaving families feeling so isolated and dismissed?

In this episode I talk to Jen Haken and Becki Copely, Both parents of children with an eating disorder, both have many years of experience of navigating their way through the UK health system and both have a detailed knowledge of the plight of families in the UK as a result of the two on line support groups they run. In today’s discussion, we open the lid on the issues and difficulties associated with eating disorder treatment in the UK and have a very heartfelt and gritty discussion about the day to day struggles some families face.

As I said, this was an eye opener for me, and I want to know more. If you’re a professional you might find this a tough listen.. but let’s use this to inform change..

If you want to access the support group, follow the links below:

Parent to Professional-Eating Disorder Support UK www.facebook.com/groups/388803421922063/about

Eating Disorder Parent/Carer Support (UK) – www.facebook.com/groups/430874960395142

Jen Haken can be contacted on Twitter: @jenfer19

Becki can be contacted on Twitter: @Becki_edsuk

If you’d like to add your voice to the discussion, contact the Eating Disorder Insights Podcast on:

Email:- eatingdisorderinsights@gmail.com

Twitter:- @ED_Insights_Pod

Voice Message:https://www.speakpipe.com/eatingdisorderinsights

Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Modern Jazz Samba” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

“Samba Stings” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


EDIP – So what’s happening to the provision of treatment in the UK..?



So far, we have looked at how you can get your child to the GP successfully.. but what happens after that? the expectation is that your child will be assessed, referred for medical treatment if needed then be referred to your local CAMHS specialist eating disorder service. Sounds like a plan right? Yep, this is what should happen.. but.. this is not the case for many families. Some are having huge difficulties in getting their child to treatment and when they do, they feel misunderstood, frustrated anxious and frightened. Having an eating disorder in your family is very distressing and is a daily struggle, so anxiety and fear is definitely part of it, but what’s happening to create the roadblocks to treatment that many are describing.?

We’re going lift the lid on the issue, hear from families and professionals and start to understand the factors that cause difficulties in accessing treatment. Unless we are able to get a better understanding of what it’s like to access treatment, we won’t be able to make the changes needed that families need.

We know that NHS services are under immense pressure and 2020’s COVID pandemic added serious strain to service delivery. Eating disorder services saw an increase in referrals that stretched resources often beyond their ability to meet the need. This also created an increase in in-patient admissions for treatment. But this doesn’t explain all of the struggles that are being reported by families. I’m hearing many families talk about having access difficulties way before the COVID pandemic – so what’s happening?

This is a change of direction for the podcast, but lots of families in the UK are having massive struggles to access eating disorder treatment and this is adding greatly to their distress. So we need to hear what they have to say and use their voice to inform change in treatment provision.

Are we only going to hear the voice of the family? no – that’s a one sided discussion and won’t give a full picture. We also need to hear from those that commission and deliver services – unless the voice of the family is heard by those that can inform change, no change will happen.

In the next episode, I’m talking to Jen Haken and Becki Copely who have set up support groups for families of those with eating disorders. Come an listen to what they have to say. If you’re interested in joining their support groups – click the links below:

Parent to Professional-Eating Disorder Support UK www.facebook.com/groups/388803421922063/about

Eating Disorder Parent/Carer Support (UK) – www.facebook.com/groups/430874960395142

If you’d like to add your voice to the discussion, contact me:

Email:- eatingdisorderinsights@gmail.com

Twitter:- @ED_Insights_Pod

Voice Message:- https://www.speakpipe.com/eatingdisorderinsights

Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Modern Jazz Samba” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

“Samba Stings” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Eating Disorder Insights Podcast – Series 2 Episode 5 – About your GP – NHS or Private Treatment?



How do you choose between using an NHS service or seeking out private treatment? In this episode, we will explore the issue of treatment choice and take a look at the options that might be available to you in each treatment setting. As a professional, I see many families who find themselves trying to make such a decision, trying to navigate the wealth of services that offer wide-ranging treatments for eating disorders and the common factor is that they all want the best for their child. In this episode, I’ll help you to think about how to make the best choice for you and we’ll consider some of the possible benefits and pitfalls that you need to look out for.

There is no hard and fast rule about which is the best option – this is very much an individual choice based on your unique family needs. But it’s very important that you make the right choice and to do this, you’ll need lots of information… so sit back and listen…

As a helping hand, these are some of the links to the services I discuss in the podcast.

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy  – BACP

British Psychological Society  – BPS

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE Guidelines for the treatment or Eating Disorders

And not forgetting the incredible Eva Musby ..


Eating Disorder Insights Podcast – Series 2 Episode 4 – About your GP – Not happy with the outcome?



In this quick episode we’ll look at what you can do if you feel that you didn’t quite get what you needed from your GP appointment. We’ll take a look at your options and  think about how you can get the help you need and get the best start to treatment possible.

This is a short episode, but worth listening to..!

 


Eating Disorder Insights Podcast – Series 2 Episode 3 – Abour your GP – How does your child feel?



Your child might not share your enthusiasm about going to the GP and seeking treatment. In this episode, we’re looking at your child’s feelings and what is influencing their reluctance. I will help you to understand the eating disorder by viewing it as something separate to your child – a living, breathing entity – a parasite –  that has attached itself to your child and is using them for its own gains. I’ll help you to spot it’s behaviours, help you to understand how it gains influence over your child and how you can work together as a family to reduce its power.

 


Eating Disorder Insights Podcast – Series 2 Episode 2 – About your GP – What you need to tell them



Hello and welcome back to episode two of the second series of the eating disorder insights podcast.

In this second episode of series .. we’ll look at what you’ll need to tell your GP in order to get the best outcome for you and your child.But before we start.. lets quickly recap the last episode….in the last episode, we talked about the current national climate for eating disorders in  the UK and how this impacts on professionals. We also talked about how this could influence your appointment with your GP and why it’s important for you to plan what you’re going to say So.. thank you coming back to the show.. and I’m glad that you’re finding it useful.. now, I know this because I’m getting great feedback .. so thank you all and keep sending in your comments and suggestions.

So… when thinking about the GP appointment it’s probably a good idea for us to revisit the reasons why you’re going in the first place..We already know that you feel something’s wrong.. you can see changes in your child that worry you… or you’ve had someone else tell you that they’re worried.. maybe a teacher from school or a coach from a club that your child goes to..

And as a result.. you decided to do something to help your child.. by now you’ve probably talked to your child and have a better understanding, or they’ve refused to talk to you… but you’re still worried and still want to take them to the GP.

… so thinking of it.. you’ve already made a good start and probably have loads of information.. but we need to get it organised and sorted before your appointment, or.. if you’re anything like me, you’ll forget important bits only to remember after you’ve left the surgery.. so lets get it out of your head and on to paper… or a laptop… or tablet.. you get my meaning…

So… listen to the podcast.. and let’s get going..!

The full show notes are available here, so click the link or copy and paste it into your browser: https://sway.office.com/1VepDwtiJaTpbWRg?ref=Link

 

 


Eating Disorder Insights Podcast – Series 2 Episode 1 – About your GP – Setting the Scene



Welcome to the second series where we will focus on your appointment with your GP. As you can see, I’ve change the format slightly to make it easier for you to get the information you need, so I hope it works for you.

The appointment with your GP may be the first opportunity you’ll have to get a professional opinion about your worries for your child. Therefore it is crucial that you give your GP all the information they’ll need to assess if your child is in danger of physical complications and to help you think about the best way forwards. Your initial GP appointment will be short, probably about ten minutes which isn’t long at all…

Eating disorders are complicated illnesses that can affect many different areas of a child’s life. No two presentations or eating disorder are exactly the same, so its really important that you help your yourself by preparing for the appointment.

Currently, there is a huge drive in the UK to support and train professionals to recognise and treat eating disorders. The reality is that this will take time and you may have your first appointment with a GP that’s not so confident with eating disorders. Now this isn’t something to be worried about,  it just means you need to do your homework, work with your GP and be an active part of the process.

Throughout the next five episodes I’ll explore the current climate for eating disorder treatment in the UK, I’ll guide you through how to prepare yourself for the appointment and how to support your child to talk to a professional for the first time. I’ll also discuss how you can tell if your child needs urgent treatment and what your options are should you be concerned. I’ll give thoughts to what you can do if you’re not satisfied with the outcome of the appointment and guide you through the pros and cons of choosing between including NHS and private heath care and working with independent therapists.

The full show notes are available at https://sway.office.com/yJJAGdDDLTn0xSMY?ref=Link (either click on the link or copy and paste the address)

As usual, if you want to comment or make a contribution to the podcast, then go over to my contact page and drop me a line…


Eating Disorder Insights Podcast – Episode 2 – How to share your concerns with your child for the first time



Welcome to the second episode of the Eating Disorder Insights Podcast where we are going to explore the often difficult task of raising your concerns with your child for the first time. Many parents share that they’re not sure how to approach this and worry about making things worse or feeling anxious themselves about what they will learn in the conversation with their child. A common feeling is doubt – doubting yourself or thinking that ‘I’m probably being silly’ or ‘it’s probably normal teenage stuff’..

Let me share something with you. If you have concerns for your child, it ISN’T silly. As a parent, it’s built in that we sense when there’s something wrong. Our gut feeling is triggered. Our ‘spidey sense’ tells us that something isn’t right. I want you to learn to trust your gut instinct. It’s rarely wrong, and even when it is, you should never dismiss it..

Let me put it this way. It’s better to ask the question and be wrong than to not ask the question and later find out you were right – especially when it comes to eating disorders.

How self aware are you? how do you manage your own feelings? In this episode i will help you to take a look at how you manage your own feelings and how this is crucial if you are going to be successful in getting along side your child.

Now, what about the question of ‘normal teenage behaviour’? Well, yes, there are a lot of changes that happen when your child hits those crucial years – choosing to be on their own more often, beginning to experiment with independence and asserting themselves with you, mood changes as their hormones start to surge, paying more attention to their appearance and valuing others’ opinions more (but not yours!). All of these changes are normal – but very different for every child – no two will navigate adolescence in the same way.

Who said parenting would be easy?

So the challenge for you is ‘how do I tell the difference between what is normal and what isn’t?’ – The straight answer is – its REALLY  hard to – but it’s easier with the right help. That’s why it’s important to trust your gut feeling and to talk to your child and then see how you feel afterwards – what will your gut instinct say then?

BUT – despite all of your best efforts, it’s not guaranteed that your child will talk to you but your first approach is exactly that – a FIRST approach. It may take several attempts before your child feels safe to share their worries with you – but we will discuss this in detail in this episode. Eating disorders are complex illnesses – full of secrecy, fear and shame. Your child may have lots of reasons why they won’t share with you and paradoxically they may be desperate for help from you – so be persistent and don’t give up.

So what if your child is very resistant and is very clearly not willing to talk to you.. what next?

Good Question – and a very common one, as this can often be the case for many families. The first thing is DON’T GIVE UP – if your child responds in this way, then your gut feeling was spot on. Now, you don’t need your child’s permission or agreement to take them to see someone – despite what their new found sense of independence may tell you. If you’re in this situation, then you need to take the decision as a parent to seek a professional opinion.

So download this episode and have a listen.

Now, as I have said throughout this podcast – I absolutely welcome your thoughts, views and opinions. Have I missed something out or do you disagree with something I have said? do you have other suggestions that have worked for you as a family? Do you have a specific question that you’d like us to discuss (and when I say ‘us’ I mean you as listeners and me).

I want this to be a collaborative show that you as listeners can use to share your experiences  and questions – I have some of the answers that I’m happy to share, but you will have a VAST amount of knowledge as families living with an eating disorder – something I have no direct experience of. Nobody has all of the answers, but together maybe we can work out a ‘good enough’ fit.

Beat have a fantastic page on their website about this very subject.. ‘Worried about a Friend or Family Member’. It’s a really good source of information..

So please – go to my Contact page and say hello – if nothing more than to let me know I’m not talking to myself – you can even leave me a voicemail, it’s THAT easy!