Eating Disorders in Scotland: Prevention, Early Intervention and Promoting Recovery

An estimated 1.25 million are affected by an eating disorder. However, it is often difficult to quantify the number of sufferers as many go undiagnosed.

The context

Anyone can develop an eating disorder: while they more commonly affect women and girls, studies suggest men and boys make up 20-25% of those affected. Mainly developing in adolescence, eating disorders are a serious mental health concern.

The Scottish Government’s ‘Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027’ has announced the development of a digital tool to support young people with eating disorders, however stakeholders are calling for more engagement between patients, education and health professionals. Concerns over the gap between treatment need and availability are growing, with a delay in access to treatment consistently drawing focus.

Eating disorders can be fatal, and anorexia has the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric conditions, leading us to question what more can be done to support those living with an eating disorder and their families as well as wider measures to encourage and promote healthy relationships with food. 

The event

Join us at this Holyrood briefing on the 21st March as we examine priorities for early intervention and access to services for eating disorders in Scotland. We will bring together perspectives from across the health and care landscape to enhance knowledge for improved prevention, intervention and support of those living with eating disorders. 

Confirmed speakers

  • Sara Preston, Senior National Officer (Scotland), Beat 
  • Sarah J Taylor, Research Nurse, Eating Disorder Development Team, NHS Lothian 
  • Dr Petya Eckler, Senior Lecturer, University of Strathclyde Glasgow 
  • Lorna Quickfall, Head Teacher, Huntercombe Hospital Edinburgh
  • Sam Thomas, Founder and Director, Men Get Eating Disorders Too 
  • Niamh Allen, Collective Advocacy Worker, CAPS Independent Advocacy
  • Beat Young Ambassadors, Beat

Key issues to be addressed

  • Increase knowledge and awareness of eating disorders
  • Improve confidence and skills in prevention, identification and interventions
  • Taking a whole-family approach to supporting those living with eating disorders
  • Ensuring a person-centred approach to care
  • Learning the effectiveness of education-based interventions for prevention


09:30   Registration and Refreshments

10:00   Welcome and Introduction from Chair

            Jennifer Trueland, Journalist

10:05   Session 1: Prevention and Early Intervention

10:05   Sara Preston will deliver opening remarks on Beat's Young Ambassador experiences and share spoken word poetry penned by Ambassadors. 

10:15   Social Media and Body Image 

  • Body image and social media
  • Common psychological effects on body image from social media
  • Possible ways to counteract the negative effects

            Dr Petya Eckler, Senior Lecturer, University of Strathclyde

10:35   The 'Transitions Project' - a partnership between NHS Lothian and Beat

  • What project the project was: 3 prong approach. An online teaching tool for professionals, peer support and helpfinder
  • What went into development of online teaching tool
  • Impact of teaching tool – its success
  • New project funded by Scottish Government: Cared - Supporting parents & carers during early stages of treatment with their loved one

            Sarah J Taylor, Research Nurse, NHS Lothian 

10:55   Questions and Discussion

11:10   Refreshments and Networking

11:35   Session 2: Young People and Eating Disorders 

11:35   The Role of Education in Recovering from an Eating Disorder

  • The school experience and mental wellbeing
  • The learning experience and attainment
  • Effective transitions

            Lorna Quickfall, Head Teacher, Huntercombe Hospital, Edinburgh

11:55  'Seen But Not Heard' - CAPS Independent Advocacy Eating Disorders Project

  • Background information on the collective advocacy eating disorders project at CAPS Independent Advocacy.
  • The benefits of being involved in collective advocacy for someone with an eating disorder.
  • 'Spilling the Beans' - a short film produced by CAPS along with volunteers in the project with lived experience, which is being used to raise awareness amongst young people

            Niamh Allen, Collective Advocacy Worker, CAPS Independent Advocacy

12:30  Beat Young Ambassador Ballari Conner will share will share her experiences with school and support.

12:40   Questions and Discussion

13.00   Lunch and Networking

13:55  Session 3: Access to Services and Promoting Recovery

13:55  Access to Services and Promoting Recovery  

           Sara Preston, Senior National Officer (Scotland), BEAT

14:15   The Experience of Men and Boys with Eating Disorders   

           Sam Thomas, Founder and Director, Men Get Eating Disorders Too

14:35   Beat Young Ambassador Amanda Woodrow will share her experiences regarding overcoming an eating disorder and the journey since recovery. 

14:50   Questions and Discussion

15:15   Closing Remarks from Chair

15:20     Close of Event


Novotel, 80 Lauriston Pl, Edinburgh EH3 9DE | Map


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Discounted rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For all event enquiries please email or call 0131 285 1635

21 March 2018



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