30 March 2012
Eating Disorder Ambassadors to Promote Recovery - Event
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE SCOTTISH EATING DISORDERS INTEREST GROUP
The Scottish Eating Disorders Interest Group (SEDIG) is holding a workshop at Caledonia University Glasgow, Monday April 2 from 9.00 - 17.00 in the Buchanan Building.
Founded 20 years ago by a group of professionals, carers and former sufferers, SEDIG has been influential in driving the provision and design of Scottish Eating Disorders Services.
The workshop will explore the use of SEDIG ambassadors to promote recovery from eating disorders. Some young people who have participated in the Beat national eating disorder charity's young ambassador scheme, and Glasgow's 'No Bodies Perfect', have helped to set up guidelines and training materials ahead of the workshop.
SEDIG will also examine ambassadors' different roles and relationships with media, schools, patient groups, carers and the education and training of professionals, particularly GPs.
MSP Dennis Robertson's daughter Fiona, who lost her twin sister Caroline to anorexia last year, will be one of the organisation's first ambassadors.
Consultant psychiatrist and chair of SEDIG Dr Jane Morris said: "Many of our former patients and carers clamour to 'give back' to the services that have helped them and to help people who are still suffering from these dreadful disorders. It is crucial that their generosity does not lead to relapse or exploitation, so I am excited by plans for SEDIG to set up this ambassador scheme to offer guided support, drawing on the experience of others. This will give a voice to people of all ages who have experienced recovery either personally or as a carer."
Mr Robertson is encouraged by parliamentary discussion around eating disorders: "Members of SEDIG, along with a representative from the Scottish Youth Parliament and myself, will be meeting with the Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson MSP to discuss how we can move the agenda forward. It is important that steps are taken now to encourage a greater awareness throughout the medical profession, as well as in the world of education; that is, our schools, colleges and universities.
"My wife and I are immensely proud of our daughter Fiona for the courage and determination she is showing. Not only is she becoming an ambassador, but she will also be speaking at the SEDIG memorial service at St. Giles cathedral on April 21."