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Around 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from these illnesses, many in secret. They are of all ages, genders and backgrounds – eating disorders do not discriminate. Eating disorders include bulimia, binge eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED), and anorexia, which tragically has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, though all eating disorders can be deadly. While this is the worst-case scenario, there are many ways in which eating disorders severely affect the quality of life of both those suffering and those who care about them. They steal childhoods, devastate relationships and pull families apart. But, with the right treatment and support, recovery is possible.
Our national Helpline exists to encourage and empower people to get help quickly, because we know the sooner someone starts treatment, the greater their chance of recovery. People can contact us online or by phone 365 days a year. We listen to them, help them to understand the illness, and support them to take positive steps towards recovery. We also support family and friends, equipping them with essential skills and advice, so they can help their loved ones recover whilst also looking after their own mental health. And we campaign to increase knowledge among healthcare and other relevant professionals, and for better funding for high-quality treatment, so that when people are brave enough to take vital steps towards recovery, the right help is available to them.
The work we do means that every year lives are saved, families are kept together, and people are able to live free of eating disorders.
We share the vision of an end to the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders. We are inspired by the people we serve, by the difference we can make, and by our commitment to each other.
To make our vision a reality, we need to be bold. It takes a particular courage for our beneficiaries to ask us for help. And we need to be courageous in return – being proactive in seeking new opportunities, embracing new ways of working, and challenging things that are preventing our vision from becoming a reality.
Central to our success is our commitment to building and maintaining supportive and mutually empowering relationships with our colleagues, supporters and beneficiaries. In turn, these relationships provide us with unique experience and learning, which we use to speak with both compassion and authority about the realities of eating disorders.
We also believe that people performing at their best are happier in their work and that happy people perform at their best. So we create and protect a trusting and collaborative environment where people can experiment, learn and flourish.
We all have the responsibility of ensuring our behaviours and relationships reflect these values on a day-to-day basis and for holding ourselves and each other accountable when they do not.
When we get this right, we will achieve brilliant results together, making Beat a truly inspiring and enjoyable place to work.