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‘Hope Night’ to Inspire Eating Disorder Sufferers

‘Hope Night’ to Inspire Eating Disorder Sufferers
MEDIA RELEASE - 7 December 2017

A free event for those in the midst of an eating disorder is aiming to provide hope for them and their families.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness – yet their insidious nature can mean sufferers often struggle for years, without loved ones knowing.

Hope Night, on Tuesday December 12th, is being organised by the New Zealand Eating Disorders Clinic (NZEDC), in a bid to ‘inspire hope and advocate that recovery is possible.’

The event will feature a panel of guests including parents who have helped their child through an eating disorder, and a range of men and women who have recovered. They will each share their journeys and provide practical tips.
Special guest June Alexander is a writer and award-winning advocate in the field of eating disorders. She recovered from anorexia later in life, and will speak from Australia via Skype about narrative diary writing as a self-help and therapeutic tool.

Kellie Lavender, psychotherapist and co-founder of NZEDC, says the evening was inspired by their office manager, Jess Putt, who herself has also recovered from anorexia, and will be sharing her story.

Ms Lavender says anorexia in particular is a dangerous illness - in that getting better, inevitably makes the sufferer feel highly anxious and distressed because they need to face their fear of weight gain.

“It feels frightening to recover - and that’s a major interfering factor, and why many people drop out of treatment. The fear and distress is very real. So I think hearing from people who’ve been through it themselves AND have come out the other side and can show that it does get better and that they have a life back – that’s where hope comes in. There’s something very powerful about that - far more than just a clinician giving you information.”

Ms Putt hopes her journey will show others that freedom IS achievable. “When I had anorexia, one of the biggest encouragements for me was hearing people's stories of recovery - as it gave me hope that it was possible for me too!”

Both women encourage anyone affected by an eating disorder to come along, ask questions, and talk to those who can relate first-hand to the struggles they may be experiencing.

“Hopefully they’ll come away with some confidence that what they’re doing is the right thing and that they can get through this, because other people have.”

Date: Tuesday 12 December 2017
Time: 7.00 – 8.30pm
Cost: Free
Venue: Mercury Theatre, 9 Mercury Lane, Auckland
Parking: Wilson carpark, Mercury Lane


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