Published: February 20, 2013
Burnham-On-Sea MP calls for faster help for eating disorder sufferers

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week called for faster help to be available to sufferers of eating disorders.

Tessa Munt and MPs Caroline Nokes and David Burrowes led a parliamentary debate on the issue after calls from a Somerset eating disorder charity for more to be done in Westminster to help sufferers.

During the debate, Tessa stressed that there is a critical window of opportunity to help sufferers. She said asking them to wait up to nine months for help "is not good enough."

She added: "The debate was the first ever of its kind and shows that people are beginning to recognise the importance of the issue. It was well attended by the public, so I’m delighted."

"I'm convinced that when Parliament talks about a problem like eating disorders it can cause a shift in attitude amongst the general population. We begin to recognise that people who suffer are from all walks of life and it helps us all to consider what we can do."

She added: "One thing I believe is that we need to look at how GPs react to these cases and where the system needs to be helping and supporting sufferers more effectively - sufferers need first class treatment to ensure recovery comes more quickly."

"I take my hat off to organisations like Somerset's Anorexia and Bulimia Care, the Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorders Association (SWEDA) and others which not only help to support sufferers and their families but also raise awareness in the media and the health profession, which is vital."

Anorexia and Bulimia Care (ABC) thanked Tessa and her colleagues for bringing to the forefront some important issues surrounding the treatment of sufferers. Its director Jane Smith said: "It’s fantastic that this debate has taken place and it marks a real step forward for us in raising awareness of the severity of the issue. Eating disorders have the highest fatality rate of all mental illnesses and we are seeing a steep increase in people coming to us for help."

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