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HOPE NIGHT Offers Food For The Soul

Eating disorders are often wrapped in shame and stigma, but they don’t have to be. That’s the key message of the annual HOPE NIGHT, taking place in Auckland next month.

HOPE NIGHT is back for its fourth year and is being hosted by the New Zealand Eating Disorders Clinic (NZEDC) and is inviting anyone with an interest in eating disorders, those seeking, and those not yet seeking professional help, and family and friends of those living with an eating disorder to attend.

The event aims to bust some of the most common myths and stereotypes around conditions like bulimia and anorexia nervosa.

Most importantly, HOPE NIGHT lives up to its name by providing a safe space for inspiring conversations with those who have faced – and fought – these conditions.

NZEDC co-founder Kellie Lavender says; “We want to shift the narrative away from ‘suffering’ towards surviving and thriving. We know, and work with, plenty of people who have been on that journey.”

Eating disorders typically begin in adolescence but can emerge at any time. They affect people of all ages, cultures and genders. These disorders claim more lives than any other psychiatric illness. Despite this, there are still many myths and misconceptions about eating disorders, which only increases potential for shame and confusion.

“There are common barriers for people seeking help,” says Kellie. “We want to take those barriers away. We know that with early intervention, we have a really good chance of success.”

But she says that no matter where someone is in their journey, there’s no such thing as “too late”.

The HOPE NIGHT speaking panel will include a line-up of individuals and family members with lived experience, including Jess Dyson, from Redefined Coaching, who now helps others in her role as an eating disorder recovery coach.

“Individually it is hard to find hope but collectively we can find hope, and I am excited to be part of this event again this year. The real-life stories that come out at this event are so nourishing for the soul,” says Jess.

Anyone concerned about a loved one, or affected by an eating disorder themselves, is invited. The speakers include people who previously attended this event while dealing with their illness and are now recovered.

HOPE NIGHT is taking place at Mercury Theatre, Mercury Lane, Auckland on Tuesday 10 November from 7-8.30pm. The event is FREE, all are welcome on the night and more information is here.

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