Eating Disorders and Self-harm
Eating disorders can affect both boys and girls. Issues can stem from peer, social and media influences about body shape. Peers, family relationships and difficult life events. Eating healthily is an important part of our everyday life.
If you are concerned your child may have an eating disorder you may notice the following:
- Eating too much.
- Refuse to eat.
- Trying to get rid of food by vomiting.
- Cutting out certain foods (fats / carbohydrates).
- Excessive exercise.
- Use of laxatives.
- Weight loss.
- Dizziness, tiredness and lethargy.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Stomach pains.
- Poor circulation.
- Increased interest in calories/nutrition.
- Loss of, or failure to start menstrual cycle (periods).
Once school have been informed, the following can be looked at in order to best support your child; this may involve:
- Referral to Mental Health Practitioner.
- Referral to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).
- Referral to school nurse.
- You can also make an appointment to see your own GP.
- Get your child involved in activities which help build self-esteem.
Children self-harm for various reasons and sometimes they cannot tell you what has caused them to do this however, at that moment self-harming has given them the control and release of the built up anxieties. They control the when, how, why and what with.
If you are worried your child may be self-harming, here are some key indicators:
- Straight cuts on the inner arms, legs, stomach, or chest (areas which are very rarely seen).
- Shallow cuts.
- Marks / bruising / injuries they cannot explain.
- Items around their bedroom that could cause concern such as sharp blades, sharp edges on split cans, broken pencil sharpeners.
- Covering up, wearing unseasonable long sleeve tops and jumpers.
- Change in behaviour, becoming withdrawn, spending time alone.
Once school have been informed, the following can be looked at in order to best support your child:
- Referral to the school counsellor. We can offer 6 sessions, 1 session per week.
- Referral to school nurse for 1:1 support.
- Referral to CAMHS depending on the severity of the self-harm.
- Referral to Youth Start. Some students do not always want to access the counsellor in school, some prefer to keep it separate; Youth Start is a counselling service available to students out of school time.
- Work around Self-Esteem : Group work in school around raising a child’s self-esteem and emotional well being.
- GP. You can take your child to see your own GP for more information.
Further information can be found on the links below
Time to Change
SYEDA – South Yorkshire Eating Disorders Association
NHS Choices: Eating Disorders
BEAT - Beating Eating Disorders
You can also contact our Safeguarding Team on (01709) 760222.