Campaigning is an integral part of Beat’s work – we want you to help us to raise awareness and influence change. Together, we can make a real difference to the lives of people affected by eating disorders, through campaigning for improved services, changes to policy and helping people to understand the issues surrounding these complex mental illnesses.
New campaigning issues
We’re planning ahead and looking at various campaigning issues. I’d be most grateful if you could respond if you’ve experienced any of the following scenarios with some background - or if you know someone who has and who may be interested in helping campaign on any of these issues please pass this on.
- Depression – has depression played a major part in the development of your eating disorder?
- Siblings – would you or your sibling have anything to say on the effect of an eating disorder on a brother or sister?
- Do you have a twin or triplet?
- Do you feel that your cultural background has any influence on the development of your eating disorder?
- Are you diabetic?
- Did your eating disorder start after the age of 25? Or are you over 25 and still struggling?
- Do you suffer from osteoporosis?
- Have you suffered dental problems as a result of your eating disorder?
- Have you had any problems with binge eating or compulsive overeating?
- Do you suffer from problems related to obesity?
Body image is a topic that continually seems to attract attention. A report published by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on body image in 2012 revealed over half the UK public suffer from negative body image.
We believe body image is a key part of our sense of identity and not a trivial matter or personal vanity. It is a fundamental part of our sense of self and affects our thoughts, emotions and behaviour. It’s the belief our size, shape and weight convey to the world what sort of person we are. Cultural ideals reinforce these views and the prevailing ideals are very narrowly defined. We know that low self-esteem and negative body image can be high risk factors in the development of eating disorders.
Beat is a member of the Campaign for Body Confidence’s steering group and a member of the Government’s Body Confidence Campaign expert group. We also provide free self esteem workshops to schools in conjunction with Dove, work with the British Fashion Council and support the work of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk and regularly comment on issue in the media.
What can you do?
Contact your MP: Write to your MP or make an appointment to see them at their constituency surgery. Use this opportunity to tell them about your experience of eating disorders, why support and treatment is important and what you want them to do. to them and how to structure a meeting with them.
Join your Local Involvement Network (LINk): Every area has a patient involvement forum, known as LINk groups. These groups have powers to question NHS services and are valuable tools for engaging with your local NHS services. They bring together people interested in specific issues, and provide a collective, local voice for those issues. You can find the details of your local LINk through your local NHS website or GP surgery. Please let us know if you have joined your LINk and we can help you put questions and comments forward through them. For more information about LINks, visit their website
Become a Media Contact: We are always looking for more people to tell their stories in the media. We have daily requests to provide case studies to make interesting stories that people can relate to. If you have personal or family experience of an eating disorder we would love to hear from you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 123 7061.
Tweet us: We have a Twitter feed that we use to promote our work, tell you about media stories and raise awareness of eating disorders. Join Twitter and follow us, retweet our tweets and let all your followers know about what we do. Instructions on how to join and use Twitter can be found here.