Increases in young people seeking eating disorder support
Eating Disorders Association Northern Ireland’s (EANI) Sian Ogle gave evidence to Stormont’s Education Committee on the increasing number of teenagers seeking support for eating disorders.
The evidence given highlighted one case where a child had to wait 26 weeks before being seen by a specialist despite it being classified as an ‘emergency case’.
Data from the Department of Health (DoH) showed that there were 9,969 review appointments for eating disorder services for adults and children in 2019-20 which rose to 13,792 in 2020-21.
According to Youth Wellbeing NI Survey in 2019, one in six children and young people in Northern Ireland engaged in a pattern of disordered eating and behaviours that could indicate the need for further assessment.
Health Minister Robin Swann said that the new mental health strategy contained a commitment to enhance the regional eating disorder service.