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Posted On: 6th Nov 2017

Eating Disorder Interventions

Emma wants health professionals to individualise care for people with eating disorders
Emma developed an eating disorder after her mum passed away
B-eat regional officer Hayley Wilkinson

'It makes me angry that things could have been so different for me and I could have actually enjoyed my life at uni and my time over these past few years, and actually got to a point where I was happy.


'Instead I have missed out on so much because I have had to get to a point where I was so ill that I ended up collapsing, to get the help in the first place.' 


Emma Oldfield wants health professionals to take mental health more seriously, and individualise care, after developing an eating disorder five years ago. 


The 22-year-old, from Stockton on Tees, is working with Fixers to get her message across and has created a film during which she talks about her experiences. 


You can view it here. 


She told her story on ITV News Tyne Tees on Thursday, November 9th between 6.00pm and 6.30pm. 


She says: 'In October 2011 my mum was diagnosed with cancer. It was a year after that she passed away. 


'When my mum passed away I thought 'why has she gone, why isn’t it anyone else, why do I deserve to be here?' 


'The eating disorder came in when I thought 'I might not be able to control anything else in my life but I can control my weight.' 


'I think because I was the one that went to the doctors I came across as a bit of a joke. I think they thought 'this girl is probably just going through a phase'.


'I wasn’t just taken seriously so I wasn’t helped.' 



Now Emma's Fixers film explains why she thinks early interventions are so vitally important. 


Hayley Wilkinson, regional officer at eating disorder charity Beat, supports the campaign. 


She says: 'It’s a real lottery in terms of where people are getting treatment and when they are getting treatment. We know that there are a lot of misconceptions with GPs about eating disorders.


'Early intervention is key. The sooner somebody gets into treatment the sooner they can recover.' 


Emma's film has now been shown to medical students at Newcastle University. She says: 'My film has had a very good response from the people that have seen it which has been nice. 


'For me actually doing this in the first place was hard because I'm opening myself up a lot and sharing my story with people that I don’t know, but if my message can make a difference to other people dealing with an illness I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy, then that is enough for me to be open about things.' 


To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.


Author: Molly Kersey


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