World Eating Disorders Action Day

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The Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI) team is proud to support World Eating Disorders Action Day (WEDAD), a global movement designed to raise awareness of eating disorders, change the way they are perceived, and emphasise the seriousness of these life-threatening illnesses.

This grassroots movement, designed for and by those affected by eating disorders, seeks to shine a light on the importance of early diagnosis and evidence-based treatment for eating disorders, something the EDGI team are passionate about.

Affecting around four to eight per cent of Australian adults, eating disorders are complex mental illnesses that for some can lead to severe and permanent physical complications, and even death.

This year’s WEDAD social campaign #ShareYourStory, encourages those with first-hand experience of an eating disorder, their families, and the healthcare professionals supporting them, to lend their voice to this worthy cause and share their unique experiences.

Various eating disorder awareness groups across Australia, and internationally, have created initiatives around World Eating Disorders Action Day. Among these, Eating Disorders Queensland have created a platform for discussion with live Instagram streams hosted every day this week (until June 5).

Eating Disorders Queensland General Manager, Belinda Chelius explains why her organisation is getting involved in WEDAD.

“With the complexity of mental and physical issues, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness .Especially now, during COVID-19, we are very concerned about added stressors for both those living with an eating disorder and their key support systems.

“During this year’s WEDAD, we want to intensify our advocacy for additional and ongoing support for this particularly vulnerable group,” said Ms Chelius.

Aligning with the #ShareYourStory WEDAD social campaign, you’ll find EDGI’s website features a host of patient stories, reflecting on the personal experiences of Australian who have battled with an eating disorder.

Emily, 28, HR lead and gym enthusiast in recovery from anorexia nervosa, Sydney, told us, “Anorexia nervosa is quite misunderstood. It’s hard for people to understand, but it’s also hard for the person living with it.”

Georgia, 22, community mental health worker who harnessed her personal experience of anorexia nervosa for good, Adelaide, has also shared her story to increase awareness of these devastating illnesses, “My illness was all-consuming. I had a very different goal to that of my parents and doctors. I was not open to any further change in my life. In fact, I was convinced I was fine.”

Eating disorders are not a choice – they are serious illnesses that can cause distress, and significantly affect the lives of individuals, their partners, families, carers and friends. This World Eating Disorders Action Day, we encourage all those with first-hand experience of an eating disorder to come forward and enrol in our study, the local arm to the world’s largest ever genetic investigation into these complex and often devastating illnesses.

Our aim is to identify hundreds of genes that influence a person’s risk of developing anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, to improve treatment, and ultimately, save lives.

If you have experienced anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder, you can click here to volunteer for EDGI AUS today.

If you have concerns or questions, feel free to contact us at edgi@qimrberghofer.edu.au.

Should you suspect that you, or a loved one, may be living with an eating disorder, speak to your local healthcare professional without delay, or head to www.insideoutinstitute.org.au to complete their screener and assessment, and access more information and professional support.

News

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