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SAPHNA launch Eating Disorders Toolkit

Timely treatment without discrimination because No one should be dying of an eating disorder in 2022: 

Eating Disorder manifesto launches to tackle the eating disorder epidemic


On the 17 October, MPs and campaigners will come together to launch the first ever eating disorder manifesto and a toolkit for school nurses empowering them to have the right conversations. 

Eating disorders are not new illnesses, but there has been a massive rise in cases during the pandemic. Unacceptable delays before treatment means we are also seeing a rise in avoidable chronic long-term illness and loss of life. We need to ensure that we are no longer hiding behind the global pandemic but ensuring that the right support is in place for everyone because no one should be dying of an eating disorder in 2022. 

We are working to remove the stigma and misunderstanding that surrounds these illnesses, ensuring that nobody should experience shame or guilt for suffering from a biologically based illness and everybody should have timely access to specialist services. 

Amongst the calls in the first ever UK eating disorder manifesto, include adequate funding to meet the demand, supporting the roll out of a school nurses toolkit and a strategy to tackle the huge rise of people affected by eating disorders. 

Hope Virgo says, “we have waited for decades for eating disorders to be taken seriously and what we have been left with is people unable to access treatment, and people dying of a treatable illness. We need the government to step up and tackle this epidemic as a matter of urgency because no one should be dying of an eating disorder. The manifesto and school nurse’s toolkit is the next step in ensuring the government steps up because enough is enough” 

As part of the campaign, and to help empower people to talk about eating disorders, we have created a video supported by Instagram. This video will launch on the 17 October with the manifesto and schools nurse toolkit. 

Hope Virgo explains, “I have seen first-hand this huge rise in people of all ages developing eating disorders over the last few years. We know that whilst eating disorders don’t discriminate on age that we had a place in schools to offer some support. We developed a school nurse toolkit to do just this. To help empower others to have these conversations and to help get in there early.” 

John McDonnell MP said “Over the last few years we have seen huge increases in the number of people affected by eating disorders. With the tragic levels of human suffering caused by eating disorders, and the huge economic cost, there is a clear need for a comprehensive and urgent programme of action from government. It has been deeply worrying and, for many, extremely distressing, that there has been such little progress over the last few years. With people losing their lives daily, the time to tackle this is now. ” 

Sharon White CEO of The School and Public Health Nurses Association says, “we are beyond delighted to be working alongside Hope as well as our expert reference group that includes courageous young people and parents, to develop a much-needed toolkit for school nurses supporting an increasing number of children, young people and their families experiencing eating disorders. Our early help can and does make a significant difference to the impact this awful illness has, therefore, we are determined to co-produce a resource to help us deliver excellence in our care’. 

Suzanne Baker, Carer Representative for FEAST says, “With timely intervention, eating disorders are treatable however with increasing barriers facing patients and their caregivers in accessing these interventions, too many people are being condemned to a life of chronic illness or tragically dying.  The UK has been world leading in developing new psychological treatments for eating disorders, we should also be leading the world in their provision.”


Watch Sharon White and Hope Virgo discussing the toolkit

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