Today is bloggers choice! You can write on anything you wish with regards to eating disorders, relate mental health or social problems. Maybe you have read an article or seen a photograph or advertisement recently you wish to respond to. Perhaps you want to reflect on the challenge so far? It’s entirely up to you. If you’re stuck for ideas post on the HFC Facebook page for inspiration.
Today I will be doing a shameless plug for a group close to my heart, Sweda.
Sweda stands for Somerset & Wessex Eating Disorders Association and they are a small support group based in the town of Street in Somerset. Unfortunately for anyone living in rural Somerset this is in fact the only eating disorders support group in the area, and that area is big!!!
I have been attending Sweda on and off for about the past 13 or so years, in the past it hadn't been the right road for me as I wasn't in the correct mindset, but when I started attending a few years ago they were a crucial part in my recovery.
Sweda isn't just a support group, they educate schools and local GP surgeries, they have telephone, email and msn helplines. They offer low cost counselling to sufferers and retreat days. They are a necessity to sufferers and carers in my local community and beyond.
But why does sweda work? It worked for me to be with people who knew what I was feeling, how I was hurting and they didn't judge. You could see hope when people were obviously getting better, Some months are tougher than others but as I said before I now attend not for me but for others, just to give that bit of hope. It helps the carers to know that they are not on their own, and to be speak and listen with other carers.
One of the group leaders summed it up at the last meeting, she said they would be doing it if they couldn't see the benefits to the people they were helping.
Another reason why an organisation like this is needed is because the NHS referral system sucks big time!!Often you cannot get referred on straight away if your bmi is not at a certain level, therefore waiting for months, and not everyone can afford to go private.
Sweda is needed because ultimately eating disorders kill, people die. They have the highest fatality rate of any mental illness. Shocking isn't it?
The sad thing is that the funding was pulled from Sweda in January this year, and that equates to 50% of their annual income. In real terms that means the telephone helplines and msn are down to once a week, community support is no longer in the community and as for the monthly support group, who knows.
Myself and a group of friends have fund raised for Sweda in the past with pub quizzes and a sponsored walk. In July myself and 3 others are planning a charity 'Come Dine With Me.' We will all have nominated charities and the winner will have all of his sponsor money plus half of the other participants for his chosen charity. So win or lose sweda will gain something.
Of course though, I shall be winning :) I will keep you posted and give details of how I can be sponsored.x
Please have a look at swedas web page http://www.swedauk.org/