Eating Disorders (ED) Awareness Week (24 February to 2 March) highlighted the woeful state of mental health services in Scotland, and how those presenting with symptoms are treated.
There are some good news stories, but most ED sufferers report the same general themes: we have nearly all been patronised, fobbed off, shunted between services which fail to communicate with one another, ignored, left for many months between appointments, made to feel our problems are trivial and of no consequence, and encouraged to make ourselves more ill in order be taken seriously.
The cost to the public purse of failing to act early (or sometimes at all) is enormous.
Care and compassion do exist, but often only outside the walls of the clinics and surgeries where eating disorder sufferers (often young, usually female) are treated like time-wasting hypochondriacs.
Wouldn’t we be better investing our tax pounds in preventing problems before they escalate, instead of picking up the bill later, after they have multiplied?