Eating Disorders

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2005 National Women's Conference
21 October 2004

Conference recognises that eating disorders are the most deadly of all mental illnesses, affecting mostly women and teenage girls, and is among the most difficult to treat. Eating disorders can have severe medical consequences including damaging effects on virtually every organ system including cardiac, reproductive, kidney and musculoskeletal. Suicide is also a major risk factor. Women as mothers are often left to deal with these problems with little or no knowledge of the issues and with no help, support or advice on how they can help.

On an emotional level eating disorders can make work, school and the daily functions of life often impossible. In addition to affecting the person with the disorder, they can also destroy relationships and tear families apart.

Conference calls on the UNISON National Women’s Committee to:

1)lobby government for increased funds for the treatment of eating disorders;

2)lobby government to develop programmes that enhance the skills of psychologists, social workers, mental health counsellors, dieticians and other health care professionals in efforts to prevent, assess and treat those with eating disorders;

3)produce educational materials that can be utilised by branches and members to better understand issues related to eating disorders as a workplace issue.