Tomorrow (February 27) marks the start of National Eating Disorder Week across the county.
Eating disorders can devastate lives, affecting not just the person suffering, but the whole family.
A new service launched by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust late last year is there to support and treat families affected by eating disorders no matter where they live in the county.
The team of specialist clinicians has expertise in treating young people for both the physical and mental health effects of an eating disorder.
The service treats the whole family with care that is based on the latest research and evidence meaning they can help young people who are very unwell to be treated at home rather than in hospital.
The service sees people within 28 days of referral and in urgent cases, within five days.
While young people and families can refer directly to the service they always advise to talk to your GP first.
Before the pan-Sussex service was launched on October 1 last year there were three separate teams covering East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.
The new single team offers specialist support, with shorter waiting times and an equal service across the three areas.
The service was jointly commissioned by all the Sussex clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and designed with young people and their families.
The team is based at Chalkhill, on the Princess Royal Hospital site in Haywards Heath, but work across the county.
It includes nurses and senior support workers, family therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, dieticians and paediatricians.
Senior support worker Karen Allen said: “The new service has made the referral process much easier for us, and for families, especially as young people can now refer themselves to us.
“We’re able to see people in a more timely way and get them the support they need quickly, which is so important in helping them to recover.
“Feedback from families has been overwhelmingly positive. They’re telling us that they can’t believe how quickly we’re able to respond and the level of expertise within the team that’s available to them.
“It’s great to know that the new service is making a real difference to local families.”
For more details about eating disorders, including how to get help, visit www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/eatingdisorder
For more about National Eating Disorder Awareness Week visit www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
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