Unique service to help people with eating disorders is launched in Milton Keynes
A new service called TEDS aims to help the growing number of people with eating disorders in MK.
The Eating Disorder Specialists (TEDS) launched this month and offers private therapy packages to anyone aged 16 and above who has an eating disorder.
Clare Steedman and Rachael Rachael Alder-Byrne, the clinical directors and co-founders, have a combined 22 years of clinical experience within both NHS and private settings.
They believe the existing system is failing people with eating disorders, who sometimes have to wait for NHS treatment or are rejected because their weight was not low enough.
"We want our service to ultimately help fill the void that currently exists in eating disorder treatment provision," said Clare.
The number of people who have screened positive for an eating disorder has almost trebled since 2007. Although up to two million adults are estimated to be living with an eating disorder, according to NHS benchmarking only 11,000 were treated by a service last year.
"These numbers have dramatically increased during the pandemic," said Clare.
"There is unfortunately a lack of accessible, affordable, and integrated treatment options for individuals with eating disorders who are in the community and we hope to provide a highly specialist, warm and unique eating disorder service to those individuals and their families who are out there."
She and Rachael met while working in the field of eating disorders.
"We would spend huge amounts of time reflecting on our experiences of working within the field and would reflect on certain elements of healthcare provision which were, to be frank, failing individuals with eating disorders and their families.
"Whether it was a client not receiving treatment in a timely manner or another being rejected for intervention due to their BMI not being low enough, these were the difficult realities that we were working in, trying to find the best solutions in impossible circumstances."
Clare and Rachael say TEDS is unique from other services because it provide highly specialist treatment
that is based on an integrative therapy approach.
"We offer therapy that addresses you as a whole person, considering your past, present and future
challenges that may be holding you back from achieving your own recovery. Our packages consist of both individual and group therapy sessions, which following an TEDS Initial Assessment, will be agreed upon," said Clare.
The initial assessment costs £150.
Eating disorders are complex and the pair admit there is no 'gold standard' approach which works. But TEDS say a caring approach and offering clients a 'therapeutic space' to explore their past, present and future states can be of great benefit to them.
"We have huge aspirations for TEDS," said Clare. "Our hearts are embedded within the service and thus we firstly and fundamentally hope to reach as many individuals and their families as possible so we can get alongside them and make eating disorder recovery possible.
"We are also passionate about offering support to carers and we have an online carers support group available.In addition, we aspire to continue to be passionate advocates for eating disorders and holding hope for recovery is at the crux of TEDS. We want to continue to raise awareness, understanding and hold hope for individuals with eating disorders through our workshops and webinars.
"If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, please be brave and reach out, we are here for you."