Eating disorder unit opens for teenagers

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A NEW purpose-built unit offering treatment to teenagers with eating disorders has opened in Sheffield.

Riverdale Specialist Eating Disorders Hospital in Ranmoor has extended its services to include a nine-bed inpatient unit for youngsters aged 13 to 18.

The news comes as the nation marks National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, on until Monday.

The facility – the first of its kind for under-18s in the region – provides inpatient, daypatient and outpatient treatment for young people and their families. Previously, the nearest specialist centre for the age group was in the north west.

Allyson Wall, patient services coordinator at Riverside, said: “Eating disorders are a mental health illness, which cause physical health complications.

“This sometimes results in sufferers needing inpatient treatment upwards of three months, causing them to be away from family and friends. Being separated from loved ones has a negative impact upon emotional wellbeing, which then makes recovery more difficult.

“Riverdale recognises the importance of involving families in treatment for both the sake of the young person and their own wellbeing.

Treatments available include cognitive behavioural therapy, art therapy and body image therapy, self-esteem workshops and nutritional education.

The unit provides access to education through an online school – ensuring links with school and college remain, so patients can continue academic studies.

Referrals must come from a medical professional. For nformation call Riverdale on 0114 2302140.