The STEPS Eating Disorder Service, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, held their FREED launch event on the 27th February, coinciding with Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019.
"We want as many people as possible with eating disorders to be able to go on and live a fulfilled life, free of all the challenges that eating disorders can bring."
Dr Lauren Gavaghan, Consultant Psychiatrist
The STEPS Eating Disorder Service offers specialist eating disorder treatment to adults in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, and North Somerset. The Service includes a primary care based ‘First Step’ service that allows easy access to eating disorder treatment from General Practitioners, as well as a comprehensive tertiary community-based service.
The launch event included talks from Dr Lauren Gavaghan, Consultant Psychiatrist for the STEPS team, and Dr Helen Malson, from the Eating Disorders Health Integration Team at the University of West of England. There was also a photography exhibition for the Eating Disorders Health Integration Team and representatives from Beat, the UK eating disorder charity, as well as a Bristol-based eating disorders support group.
The STEPS team are launching FREED in the midst of local staff and service changes, so are taking a gradual approach to rolling out the FREED model. We look forward to working with them and are thrilled to have them as part of the FREED Network.
Dr Lauren Gavaghan, Consultant Psychiatrist for the STEPS team, says "Early intervention in eating disorders is key and we are keen to start rolling out the Maudsley FREED model. There is evidence that the longer eating disorders go on, the more habitual behaviours become, and the harder it is to make changes. We want as many people as possible with eating disorders to be able to go on and live a fulfilled life, free of all the challenges that eating disorders can bring, and are excited to be joining the Maudsley and other teams across the UK in trying to ensure this approach is developed nationally.”