A Fixer, who’s concerned there’s little support for young people with eating disorders in the Highlands, is campaigning for more help in the region.
Twenty-two-year-old Stacey Patience wants to see better services and facilities established in her area, where she feels young people with such conditions are isolated and fail to get adequate support.
The Avoch Fixer was diagnosed with anorexia in 2012 and has been hospitalised on several occasions because of the illness.
Having to travel well over a 100 miles for specialist treatment and to meet with the nearest support group, Stacey personally knows the challenges people with eating disorders in the remote areas of Scotland face.
Now in recovery, she hopes her story will encourage better understanding of these issues in the Highlands.
‘Living with an eating disorder can be an all-consuming nightmare,’ explains Stacey.
‘Some people still think it’s about vanity and say “why do you want to be that skinny?” They don’t understand it’s not a choice. It’s a mental condition.
‘I felt incredibly lonely at times because there’s just not enough support in the Highlands. This is what I want to change.
‘I believe that raising awareness is not only key to challenging the stigma attached to eating disorders but can also reach out to sufferers.’
With the help of Fixers, Stacey has created a website called ‘Bite Me!’
She hopes that by sharing her own experiences, others with eating disorders can find comfort in the same way that she has.
‘Because the nearest support group for people with eating disorders is 100 miles away in Aberdeen, I thought creating something that anyone can access was a great idea,’ she explains.
‘The website is a chance for young people to interact with others and seek the help they need.’
As well as promoting her message in secondary schools by holding classes, Stacey has been asked to appear on STV to talk about her Fix.
She explains: ‘It’s important that we reach as many people as possible.
‘My experiences with anorexia were obviously very negative, but if I can turn it around and give others hope that would be fantastic.
‘In the long run we would like to set up our own group in the Highlands instead of having to travel so far.
'For people who have had similar experiences, to be able to speak to one another is the first step on the road to recovery.’
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