Full Circle: My Journey Back to Wales and the Need for Improved Eating Disorder Services

by | 20 Feb 2024 | Eating Disorders, Updates / Personal | 4 comments

Today, I want to share a personal update intertwined with some commentary on Eating Disorder Services in Wales.  As I mentioned in a recent post, at the tail end of 2023, I made the move to North Wales – an area that, some two decades ago, I roamed as a student deeply entrenched in my own battle with an Eating Disorder.  Oddly enough, within just a few weeks of settling in, the very university I attended reached out to ask me to deliver a seminar on Eating Disorders, and of course, I obliged!  Walking through the front door, memories of my time as a student flooded back.  But on this occasion, I walked in, not as a struggling young adult, but as a fully recovered survivor and a fully-fledged professional.  It was very much a full-circle moment.

Unfortunately, despite the years, the landscape of Eating Disorder Services in the area has seen only minimal improvement.  Despite pre-pandemic estimates suggesting around 60,000 individuals in Wales grapple with eating disorders (likely underestimating the true scale of the issue), there are only services for the most physically compromised.  Adult inpatient services are non-existent.

I’ve spoken numerous times about the need for improved Eating Disorder services in England – shorter waiting times, more resources, and more person-centred and tailored care.  But here in Wales, even more work is urgently needed.  What’s frustrating is that I actually spoke as an Expert by Experience when the North Wales Eating Disorder Service first launched – the incoming clinical lead seemed eager to make a significant impact that, sadly, hasn’t materialised.  Furthermore, there was a Welsh Eating Disorder Service Review in 2018, which outlined recommendations for improvements.  Yet again, progress has been disappointingly minimal.

It’s time that individuals living with Eating Disorders in Wales were able to receive the care that they deserve.

As someone who has experienced firsthand the impact of inadequate support systems, I’m committed to advocating for improved services, both here in Wales and beyond. Whether it’s through raising awareness, collaborating with local organizations, or advocating for policy change, I’m determined to make a difference.

If any of my readers in Wales (or with connections here) want to educate their staff team about eating disorders, then I might be your person, and I’d be grateful to link up with others who might be in positions that could support change.  Given the lack of services, I also wonder if my online subscription service, ‘The Eating Disorder Recovery Companion,’ can be something to fill some of the service gap.  I need your help to get that in front of the right people too.

Let’s work together to ensure that everyone, regardless of where they live, has access to the support and resources they need to overcome eating disorders and reclaim their lives.

4 Comments

  1. Sam

    Welcome back

    Reply
  2. Diana, London

    So sad that services seem no further on that last time you were there – and I suppose that if you wanted to be super-critical you could in fact say that they had regressed. Not a scenario that anyone should feel proud about.

    Reply
  3. David in Llandudno

    How great that we now have such an advocate for Eating Disorders back in Wales.

    Reply
    • Kel_MHB

      Thats very kind, thanks David 🙂

      Reply

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Kel O'Neill

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