HSE Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders launches Self Care and Information App as part of Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2020

HSE Media Release: 05 March 2019

To mark Eating Disorder Awareness week, today Thursday 5th March, the HSE has launched the first Self Care App which provides valuable information for those with or people caring for someone with an eating disorder. Early intervention is associated with better outcomes and faster recovery but research shows that over 85% of those experiencing eating disorders find it hard to access treatment.

Identified by clinicians as a trusted resource for people with eating disorders the app provides accurate information and advice for anyone worried about developing an eating disorder or for those who have been diagnosed or are recovering from an eating disorder.

A collaborative development between HSE Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders and Bodywhys, the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, the app also contains helpful information for family and friends including;  

  • Advice about what to say and do
  • Guidance to get help at the right time and place
  • Help on the road to recovery

Speaking at the launch in the Richmond Education Centre, HSE Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Sara McDevitt who led the App development group said:

“Research tells us that the more understanding someone has about their health condition, such as an eating disorder, the more confident and actively involved they become in managing their health. This, in turn, supports clinical care and can lead to better outcomes and recovery. We hope that this App will be a great support and source of information for people with eating disorders, their families and carers, and the therapists and clinicians who provide care for them."

CEO of Bodywhys – the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, Jacinta Hastings added:  “Having this level of information in such an easy to use format, makes information sharing very accessible.  Research indicates that online is a key source of information and help amongst Irish young people in relation to mental health and this resource, specific for people affected by eating disorders, will provide information on self-care, self-help and signposting to get help at the right time and place.”

Speaking at the launch Dr Aoife O'Sullivan, GP member of NCP oversight Group added: “This App promises to be a valuable resource for GP's who are often the first point of contact for patients with Eating Disorders and their families. It gathers lots of information together in a user-friendly format with links to safe and reliable support groups and websites. GP's can encourage patients or worried families to download the app for information and support while awaiting and while engaging in treatment programmes."

The HSE Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders, whose partner organisations are The College of Psychiatrists in Ireland and Bodywhys, launched their Model of Care in January 2018. One of the central aims of the programme was to improve the patient experience. An interactive parent workshop held in February 2019 highlighted the need for an information resource pack for those with or caring for someone with an eating disorder, particularly while waiting for treatment.

It is important to note that this Eating Disorders Self Help App is not a treatment programme or a replacement for medical advice. For advice on how to access health care support for eating disorders please contact your local GP. 

Download the app https:// ncped.selfcareapp.mobi

Ends

Last updated on: 05 / 03 / 2020