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It's time to #DumpTheScales

It’s estimated that over a million people across the UK suffer from an eating disorder, yet many remain undiagnosed. Whilst many people with eating disorders will not have taken steps to seek treatment, others have visited GPs, only to be told that they aren’t thin enough to warrant diagnosis.

Having being hospitalised and on the brink of death from anorexia once before - when I relapsed in 2016 - I was terrified of ending up in hospital again. Getting to that point where I would lose control. That relentless anorexic voice nagging at me day in and day out.

After four months of battling with that voice in my head I decided it was time I reached out for help. I referred myself and got an appointment at an Eating Disorder Unit in London only to be told 'I wasn’t thin enough for support.'

I left the appointment not sure what to do, all I had wanted was someone to talk to, someone to take my relapse seriously and to give me some help. I felt like a fake. A hypocrite.

The month that followed was a mess. I couldn’t shake that anorexic voice that was slowly destroying me again, making me feel suicidal, taking over my every waking moment. One evening I sat at the train station for hours and just wanted to give up on life altogether. I remember thinking about how much better life would be for everyone if I weren't here. Something stopped me that evening ending my life altogether and I had this realisation that if I wasn’t thin enough for treatment I would have to manage this on my own.

My story isn’t unique but a daily occurrence for people with all eating disorders who are seeking treatment.

I am working closely with Wera Hobhouse MP for Bath, to change this so that others with eating disorders won’t get the same treatment as me. Wera is calling all of you to help her improve how we tackle eating disorders. She has tabled a motion in Parliament which now has cross-party support from all Parties represented in Westminster.

Wera states: 'It’s great my motion has received support from across the house, but we need more MPs to show a commitment to tackling this very important issue. This is why I’m asking students in Bath to write, tweet or meet their home MPs to ask them to support my motion!'

The Bath MP continued: 'This is an incredibly important issue to large numbers of people both in Bath, and across the country. I hope that other politicians will put party differences aside and work together to improve people’s lives who are suffering with eating disorders, and other types of mental distress and illness.'

If you would like to support Wera and Hope in their campaign by lobbying your MP, please click here. Wera will send you a campaign pack, with a template e-mail, suggested tweets, and social share images to make it very easy to you to lobby your local MP.

You can also sign Hope’s petition to #DumpTheScales here by following this link.

Hope Virgo is a mental health campaigner and author of Stand Tall Little Girl. You can also check out Hope’s website, Twitter and Facebook.



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