For immediate release:


Rutherglen MSP and mental health nurse Clare Haughey last week (28th February) led a Scottish Parliament debate marking Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

The awareness week, running from 26th February to 4th March, encourages people to ask for help if they notice symptoms of an eating disorder. This year’s theme “Why Wait?’ pointed to research by the UK’s leading eating disorder charity Beat which estimates that those experiencing symptoms of an eating disorder on average wait almost three years before seeking help. A further study by polling firm YouGov shows that a third of adults in the UK could not name any signs or symptoms of such illnesses.

During her speech, Clare Haughey MSP spoke of the daughter of former Aberdeenshire West MSP Dennis Robertson, Caroline, who died of anorexia seven years ago.

Commenting, Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey said:

“I was honoured to lead a debate in the Scottish Parliament to mark Eating Disorders Awareness Week – and counter the arguments that they are diets gone wrong or phases. Eating disorders, which include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders are serious mental illnesses, therefore help should be sought if you are suffering from one.

“The risk of not treating any mental illness can be incredibly dangerous – however for eating disorders this is even more true. Eating disorders are responsible for more loss of life than any other form of psychological illness, with anorexia nervosa having the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

“The deniability, secrecy, and stigma associated with eating disorders will stop many seeking help, and prevent others from taking responsibility to help a sufferer. However, help is out there. I would encourage anyone who thinks they may have the symptoms of an eating disorder to contact their GP, or alternatively, phone Beat’s free helpline on 0808 801 0677.”



Below is a picture of Clare Haughey MSP during the debate (28th February).

20180228 - Clare Haughey MSP

Research by Beat and YouGov cited on the following link: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/edaw


Date published: 6th March 2018

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