CAMHS bulimia service wins Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity grant award

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity are backing SLaM to create a new outreach service to help prevent and fight a prevalent and aggressive eating disorder.

The charity has provided a grant of £118,495 to our CAMHS to raise awareness of the symptoms of bulimia. Through the new service, a full time mental health outreach practitioner will build relationships with GPs, schools, community groups, youth clubs and other local services across the boroughs, and provide accessible information to young people and professionals in contact with them via lessons, posters, assemblies and more.

The service will make referrals and self-referrals easier and promote access to existing treatment pathways, with a special focus on young people from ethnic minority groups. It will test new practices which, if successful, could be applied across the country.

By the end of the project, we expect to treat 35-45 young people who have symptoms of bulimia per year. By strengthening prevention and improving access to treatment, the new service also hopes to benefit over 470 local teenagers who may otherwise have developed the condition to chronic levels.

Dr Catherine Stewart, who leads the project, said: “Young people have very clearly told us that we need to be more visible and provide more information for those experiencing symptoms of bulimia nervosa so they can seek treatment earlier. Discussions with teachers from local schools has revealed that staff have great concern about anorexia, which can be a very visible problem, but that they are largely unaware of the difficulties experienced by an equal number of young people with bulimia. This project will ease access for young people with symptoms of bulimia nervosa to existing but currently under-utilised pathways, before the disorder becomes chronic and harder to treat.”

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