There are an estimated 1.25 million people with an eating disorder in the UK. The earlier someone can access treatment, the better their chance will be of making a full and sustained recovery, and the more likely their treatment will be less distressing and less intrusive to family life. There would also be considerable savings to the public purse, so allowing more people to be treated faster.
Central to Beat’s work is the helpline which, supported by a programme of promotion and information, exists specifically to encourage and empower people to seek and get treatment as early as possible. The helpline, a telephone and digital support service, operates 365 days a year and is available to everyone in the UK affected by an eating disorder.
Beat helps people to understand their illness, supports them to get treatment and helps them towards recovery. It helps families and carers know how best to support a loved one into, through and out of treatment. And it trains teachers, health professionals and other key individuals to spot when someone is showing the early signs of an eating disorder and how to support them to get treatment as quickly as possible.
Beat uses its experience to campaign for better government policy and health service practice, always guided by the experience of beneficiaries and the expertise of clinicians. It works both nationally and locally, focussing on three priority areas: early intervention, family empowerment and prevention & cure.
The SFF’s unrestricted grant is helping Beat to grow its helpline by working with more digital volunteers to ensure more people affected by eating disorders are able to access the support they need.