A city psychologist has called for improved understanding of eating disorders in support of Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Monday 21-Monday 28 February) after seeing a steady rise in Scottish sufferers.
Professor Ewan Gillon is Clinical Director of First Psychology Scotland which operates bespoke centres in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Borders providing treatment for a range of mental health problems, including eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive or binge eating.
More men as well as women are experiencing eating disorders as they come under increasing pressure to look good, and Professor Gillon believes that an unhealthy relationship with food is becoming more prevalent in today’s society.
Professor Gillon says: “The Eating Disorders Association* has estimated that at least one million people in the UK are affected by eating disorders and numbers have increased over the last few years. I think it’s really important that we raise awareness so that people understand the dangers and know which symptoms to look out for.
“Eating disorders are often triggered by a traumatic event in younger life and are ultimately linked to a lack of self-esteem. As many as one woman in 20 will have some form of eating distress in their lifetime, which puts into perspective how serious this problem really is.
“I believe the increase in figures is a combination of more people suffering from eating disorders and more being diagnosed now that we know more about the causes and treatment. It’s only through understanding the issues involved that we can take steps to improve the situation.”
The Eating Disorders Awareness Week, organised by The Eating Disorders Associatio(beat), encourages people to run awareness campaigns in their own areas thereby improving the support available to sufferers. For information on how to get involved visit: http://www.b-eat.co.uk/Events/EDAW2011.
Professor Gillon is available for interview. For further media information contact: Samantha McKay or Fiona Vernon at Niche Works on 0131 669 0333 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com.
Notes to editors
* The Eating Disorders Association: www.b-eat.co.uk/Home.
First Psychology Scotland
First Psychology Centres are part of First Psychology Scotland, and operate bespoke psychological centres in Edinburgh (The Edinburgh Psychology Centre), Glasgow (First Psychology Centre Glasgow) and the Borders (First Psychology Centre Borders). The centres offer a range of psychological services including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling, psychotherapy, relationship / couples counselling, and coaching. The company has plans to open further centres in Aberdeen and Dundee.
Each centre offers a professional and credible environment and at present the Edinburgh and Glasgow centres provide services for over 100 clients each week. Therapy can be provided regardless of where the client lives, with telephone and online treatment available, particularly useful for individuals who may find that face-to-face treatment makes them anxious.
Professor Ewan Gillon
Professor Gillon specialises in psychological therapy, and is a part-time academic at Glasgow Caledonian University where he created, and now leads, the only Doctorate in Counselling Psychology in Scotland. He is a published author and expert in men’s wellbeing, general counselling and therapy, and psychological wellbeing, and has recruited a team of professionals specialist in a range of problems including eating disorders, depression, anxiety, phobia, anger, OCD, post traumatic stress disorder, self-harm, and body image.
As well as being involved in cutting edge research linked to counselling, cognitive-behaviour therapy and coaching, Professor Gillon is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Senior Accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and a Chartered Scientist. He is a General Member of the Mental Health Tribunal (Scotland), and one of only 24 psychologists in the UK appointed to the Health Professions Council's Fitness to Practise Panel. He is a published author in the field of psychology and wellbeing, and his most recent book on Person-Centred Counselling Psychology was published by Sage in 2007.
First Psychology Scotland
29 St Patrick Square
Tel. 0131 668 1440