Various charities and support groups have highlighted the facts: there is not enough support and treatment for students struggling with eating disorders, leading to dropping out, or much graver consequences. A survey of over 200 students affected by eating disorders found that 18% said their illness forced them to drop out of their course, and 39% had to take time off from their studies – with a total of 52% saying their university did not do enough to support those with disorders, or to identify and help those at risk.

Luckily, there are people working to diminish these numbers. Tastelife are a support group with the aim of encouraging just that: tasting life, breaking free of eating disorders and living life to its fullest. The team at Tastelife provide support courses to those struggling with eating disorders, and these courses are accessible to students around the country. They also provide training courses to carers and counsellors of those with eating disorders. Both kinds of courses have been doubtless successes, as you’ll see from the testimonials below:

“Can’t thank you enough for all your amazing work on the course, hospitality, creativity, warmth and understanding.”

“Without you I certainly would not be where I am today. I’m doing great and I’m happier than I ever have been.” – From someone writing 18 months after attending a course.

“The Tastelife course takes the mystery out of eating disorders and reveals the vulnerability and hurt of a person with an eating disorder, and shows a proven psychological method for full recovery and freedom from an eating disorder. The course is interactive, engaging and empowers sufferers and carers to take baby steps each week towards health and wholeness.” – Dr Rosalind Simpson, GP

You can visit the Tastelife website to find out more about what they can offer as well as instant advice on eating disorders. To sign up to the Southampton-based eight-week course (starting next term, on January 26th), contact jean.hart@tastelife.co.uk, or you can call 02380784213.

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Don’t forget you can ask for advice and support at any hour of the night from Nightline, SUSU’s volunteer-run confidential listening service; give them a call between 8pm and 8am on 02380 595236. Alternatively, you can contact the SUSU Advice Centre.