A petition calling on the government to enforce guidance for eating disorder treatment has passed 60,000 signatures.
#DumpTheScales is a campaign to ensure that nobody is turned away from treatment for eating disorders purely because of their weight.
Hope Virgo, the author leading the campaign, was hospitalised for almost a year due to the severity of her anorexia nervosa and the impact it had on her mental and physical health.
However, when she started to notice the thoughts and behaviours returning, she went to seek help before things hit crisis point again. However, she was refused treatment because she wasn’t ‘thin enough’ to qualify.
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Hope said: "Since being in hospital and on the brink of death from anorexia, I was terrified of ending back in acute care again when I relapsed in 2016. Things were beginning to spiral out of my control and that nagging anorexic voice in my head was becoming louder."
"After four months of battling with that voice I decided it was time I reached out for help – to stop things before they reached crisis point. I referred myself and got an appointment at an eating disorder unit in London only to be told that I wasn’t thin enough for support."
"Although the guidelines for eating disorder treatments are correct, they aren’t being implemented consistently across the country."
"So far too often people are being turned away. Add to that the fact that it is far better for the individual – let alone the public purse – to intervene and offer support before somebody hits crisis point, and it seems like the obvious thing to do. Which is why I am asking government to ensure that nobody is turned away purely on the basis of their weight."
The petition needs to reach 100,000 signatures to encourage a debate to take place in parliament.
You can support the #DumpTheScales campaign here.