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Eating Disorders and the tragic news about Nicki Graham

15 Apr, 2021

During the pandemic sadly eating disorders have increased and with the tragic news of the death of Nicki Graham they are once again in the headlines. If you, or anyone you know is affected, here's Joss from tastelife.uk on how to access help and support.

For more information please visit https://www.tastelifeuk.org

The tragic news of Nikki Grahame's death has left many shaken and saddened. We shouldn't need such a harrowing reminder that eating disorders kill.

For those unfamiliar with Nikki Grahame, she graced our TV screens back in 2006, coining the famous catchphrase, "Who is she?" on Big Brother. As someone who never watches Big Brother, this was the only year that I did, and it was mainly because of her absorbing character and her presence on the show. Later that year, she won the award for most popular TV contender, and rightfully so.

But she did so much more than that. She was a real voice for eating disorders in the early 2000s when size zero was paraded around our screens as the size that we should strive for. She was one of the first celebrities to raise these issues around eating disorders and speak publicly about her struggles. This was the first time I had heard about anorexia, and it was also around the same time as I myself was becoming poorly with an eating disorder. And I can remember absorbing every word of her story and piecing together my own difficult reality.

In the case of Nikki and many others, the pandemic has been a huge contributor to a decline in mental health. Eating disorders are on the rise and, lately, many concerns have been raised around the access to treatment with many unable to access the help they would need in a timely manner and, consequently, are left struggling alone. I myself had anorexia in my teens and early 20s and have witnessed firsthand the highs and the lows of the mental health services in this country.

I also stand here as a testament to you today that recovery is possible and eating disorders are not new illnesses and neither are they untreatable illnesses, and your struggle today does not have to dictate your future.

Two years ago, I came across the eating disorder charity, tastelife UK, who are dedicated to helping people break free from eating disorders through their community-based recovery courses. I trained as a course leader and now help facilitate their eight-week courses. Their services are free of charge and for anybody who is wanting to explore recovery. This is a resource I wish I had had available to me when I was in the thick of my eating disorder, and I thoroughly recommend coming along and trying a course out.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, you can reach out via our website.

We also have a downloadable resource called Surviving Well In Difficult Times with loads of ideas to help people who are struggling with food and eating.

tastelife UK also offer a new resource for schools and youth groups called Youth Track. It's three sessions focused on eating disorder prevention.

Please reach out and make those first steps towards recovery today, and I can assure you nothing tastes as good as recovery feels.

For more information please visit https://www.tastelifeuk.org

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