The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has announced a £150 million investment to transform the way eating disorders are regarded and treated.
Closely linked to, caused by, or causing, other mental health problems like depression, eating disorders are a big problem among young people today.
Unfortunately mental health care across the country has recently been described as “disgusting” by the people who have sought aid, and those who have asked for it, but have been put on long waiting lists.
The major problem with the waiting lists, which can take months, if not years, are that mental health problems are likely to get worse the longer they are left. People who have had the courage to ask for help should not have to wait nine months for it, as one person who spoke to the BBC had to do.
Clegg said that children and young people are “completely let down” by the system, and that “we need to act now to transform the current system, intervening earlier with dedicated and targeted community-based services to ensure that we don’t fail this generation or the next.”
Over the next five years, the money will be used to try and create swifter access to treatment that is more local: people currently have to travel across the country for treatment. The aim is also to cut down on youngsters who get transferred to adult services, as this will cut down on approximately 70% of adults who need treatment.
Clegg added: “We know that if an eating disorder goes untreated for more than 3 to 5 years the chances of recovery are greatly reduced, while incidents of self harm increase.”
Mental health and eating disorder treatment should improve over the next five years, and hopefully will help to revolutionise mental health services and stem the tide of this unseen epidemic.