FREED started over tea room conversations between staff at The Maudsley Hospital Eating Disorder Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), and King’s College London. As clinicians, we wanted to help people with eating disorders as quickly and effectively as possible. As researchers, we knew that early intervention would improve treatment outcomes. It was disheartening to meet patients who waited years before seeking help because they were ashamed of their symptoms, didn’t think they were “sick enough”, or didn’t have any hope that things could get better. It was even harder to tell patients they would have a 6 month wait for treatment because we didn’t have enough staff to see them sooner.
We wanted things to be different. Everyone with an eating disorder deserves to know that they are not alone, help is available, and they are worthy of help. Everyone with an eating disorder deserves access to evidence-based treatment quickly.
FREED is one step towards making that difference. It facilitates rapid access to treatment for 16 to 25 year-olds with an eating disorder of up to 3 years duration and tailors treatment to the specific needs of this age group.
Danielle Glennon, Specialist Clinical Service Lead, SLaM
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