AMH EveryBODY Creatively on Course to Build Skills & Friendships

Just in time to celebrate Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2024 (EDAW), Action Mental Health’s eating disorder service, AMH EveryBODY, has successfully launched a series of year-round 5-week creative courses, which bring tactile craft making to a new level through activities such as mosaic making, clay sculpture and wet felting. These interactive sessions are actively helping to build lasting friendships and skills, while highlighting how eating disorders can affect anyone.

Delivered to AMH EveryBODY clients and those supported by the Southern Trust (SHSCT) eating disorder team, course facilitators have a unique goal to not only pass on a new creative skill, but support recovery and help develop identity outside an eating disorder.

Summing up how participation on the course has become a positive experience, one service user said,  “These courses have not only given me the confidence to try something different but it’s gotten me out of the house and helped me feel like I can make friends with other people.

“Not only did I learn something, but I made some friends too that will last after the course has finished.”

Deborah McCready, Project Worker for AMH EveryBODY who manages services for clients living with eating disorders said, “Through our courses participants build resilience and confidence as creative strengths are drawn out in a safe and supportive environment.

“Many clients have commented that it is not only the development of a new skill that is beneficial for their recovery, but the peer support and friendships that are built during the courses have led to some clients being able to tackle some of their social anxiety, and build a new confidence in forming supportive relationships.”

She added: “If I could offer advice to anyone reading this post during this Eating Disorder Awareness Week, who may be struggling in silence with their eating disorder, I would like to reassure them that eating disorders have no look, shape or size. I also want to remind you that you are so much more than your eating disorder. You bring value to this world simply by being you.  If you are struggling today please know that your voice matters, you deserve to be heard.  It is never too soon, or too late to ask for help. EveryBODY can be affected by eating disorders, so everyBODY deserves support.”

Department of Health NI estimated figures reveal that up to 20,000 individuals will be living with an eating disorder at any one time in Northern Ireland – statistics show that 16.2% of young people are screening positive for a probable eating disorder from a sample of 11 to 19 year olds. Females (23%) were significantly more likely to screen positive than males (10%). (Youth Wellbeing Survey 2022)

Right now up to 3.4 million people in the UK are living with an eating disorder. In fact recent NHS research shows that 6.4% of adults show signs of having an eating disorder and of those presenting in the UK, approximately 25% are males (, 2023).

You can read more testimonials from clients who have completed the creative course and view more images of their work by visiting the online gallery below:

Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) runs from – 26 February – 3 March 2024.

You can find more information on EDAW and AMH EveryBODY here.

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