The week of 24th February – 2nd March 2014 is Eating Disorders Awareness Week. It’s a great time to increase your understanding, especially if your answer to my question was, “not a lot”. Check out the beat (beating eating disorders charity) website for information about eating disorders. For me, the best way to learn about disorders are through the stories of people who have experienced them. Read recovery stories, for example Jonathan or Amy‘s, and look out for how eating disorders affect roles and occupational performance, and the part occupation can play in recovery. The website has a range of information resources including a guide for athletes and information about eating disorders in the workplace.
As a precursor to Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we will be hosting an #OTalk twitter chat about occupational therapy and eating disorders on 18 February 2014 at 8pm GMT (click the link for local time). You don’t need to be an occupational therapist to join in, and we welcome participation from people who have experience of eating disorders in their own lives or the lives of people they care about. The transcript of the #OTalk chat about eating disorders and occupational therapy can be found at this link.
Occupational Therapy-related resources you may wish to check out:
- College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section-Special Interest Group in Eating Disorders 9th annual study day minutes – Section 3 has a fantastic overview by Laura Lock of the literature on occupational therapy and eating disorders
- @lapsangsusie’s account of her experiences of occupational therapy in ‘”Dear Occupational Therapists” – Responses to #OTalk’s “When Occupational Therapy Goes Wrong”‘
- ‘Self Defeating Meaningful Occupation‘ and ‘Pro-Eating Disorder Websites – a Personal, Occupational Perspective‘ blog posts by @pd2ot, which explore eating disorders from an occupational perspective
- Elliot, M. (2012) ‘Figured World of Eating Disorders: Occupations of Illness‘, Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79(1), pp. 15-22 (full text)
- ‘Occupational Therapy for People with Eating Disorders‘ blog post written by Joan Chipman, the occupational therapy coordinator at the Center for Eating Disorders in Maryland, USA
I hope to be able to get back online again before the chat to update this list. If you have any other occupational therapy/eating disorders resources to recommend, please leave a comment!