Why support men and not women?
We come from a personal perspective, which is what makes us so passionate about helping men with eating disorders in Northern Ireland. Like many other guys, Laurence struggled for years with an eating disorder that wasn’t treated seriously.
Even though many men suffer from disordered eating, the public – and even medical professionals – aren’t aware of the significant impact this mental health problem can have, outside of specific female examples. While we would never turn away anyone struggling with an eating disorder, our focus is primarily on helping guys.
Eating disorders aren’t gendered – but the way we see them is
Anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders have been perceived by many people in the past as a ‘female conditions’. In reality, countless men worldwide suffer from the same health complications, mental strain and potential fatality that eating disorders can cause.
Eating disorders don’t care about your gender and, whether you’re male or female, they can cause severe and lasting damage if left unchecked. We believe it is our responsibility to raise awareness of an important area of mental illness that is overlooked by people on the street and can easily be misunderstood by family and friends of those suffering.
Men with eating disorders are falling through the net
There are hundreds of incredible charities, services and support networks for eating disorders. But, up until recently, most were solely focused on helping and treating women. The Laurence Trust bridges that gap with support, care and signposting specifically designed to support men struggling with eating disorders across Northern Ireland.
Guys often feel pressured to not show vulnerability – and are less likely to seek help for any mental health issue. Combine that with the reality of obsessive dieting and exercise often being praised instead of raising red flags, and the results are that men are far harder to reach and often only seek help at a later stage. We understand this difference, and we use our personal experience and connections to help men with eating disorders receive the specific care they need.