#coronavirus #COVID19 Beat Helpline services contact soars during coronavirus pandemic – South Wales Argus
BEAT, the UK’s eating disorder charity, has seen a demand for its helpline services in Wales increase during the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic has been a particularly challenging for people affected by eating disorders and their families. Factors such as changes to treatment plans, lack of access to support networks and loss of routine all exacerbating its effects.
Contact to Beat’s Helpline services from Wales-based beneficiaries increased by 162 per cent between April and October 2020, compared with the same period 12 months earlier.
This contact is expected to remain high over the coming weeks, with uncertainty around Christmas and future lockdowns.
In response to this rise, Beat has expanded its Welsh services, including a revamped workshop to guide carers of those affected by eating disorders over the Christmas period.
Coping with Christmas is a free, Zoom-based course designed for those who have been caring for someone with anorexia, bulimia and/or binge eating disorder over the festive period, so that they feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
Alongside the training, carers will also hear from other families affected by eating disorders who have been in similar situations.
Beat’s national Officer for Wales, Jo Whitfield, said: “This huge increase in demand clearly shows how difficult the past few months have been for people affected by eating disorders and their families.
“The Welsh Government’s 2018 Eating Disorder Service Review recognised the importance of charities like Beat in supporting families and carers across Wales, and we are proud to have been able to take an active role in providing this assistance, especially at such a critical time.
“Moving forward, we know that the festive period can also be a source of stress and anxiety, even without the added pressure of a pandemic, and we would like to reassure anyone affected that we are here to support them”.