Great news to start 2013! I am absolutely delighted, ‘over the moon’, with the news that eating disorder researcher, Janet Treasure, has been recognised with an OBE for her work. Around the world, many carers, families and sufferers of eating disorders will join with me in applauding this news. Professor Treasure has a knack of explaining things in a way that we can all understand.
Janet, a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Eating Disorders Unit at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), has been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year’s Honours List for services to people with eating disorders. http://www.slam.nhs.uk/media-and-publications/latest-news/janet-treasure-awarded-obe
Professor Treasure is also the Chief Medical Officer for the National Eating Disorder Association (the main UK eating disorder charity) and has been actively involved in research throughout her career, writing over 150 peer reviewed papers. She was a co-coordinator of a multicentre European study examining the genetic and environmental factors in the management of eating disorders.
Professor Treasure said: “I am delighted to have received this recognition which may contribute to increased awareness of the problems of eating disorders. I have worked as part of a clinical and research team from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London for over 30 years. Much of our research has focused on the causes of eating disorders and the translation of these findings into new treatments.
“With Gill Todd, a specialised nurse and other team members, we developed the experienced carers helping others (ECHO) project funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) in which people with the lived experience of eating disorders coach families with an eating disorder member on how to promote recovery. This work has been carried out collaboratively with and often inspired by patients and their families.
“I have jointly written books for carers and patients with people with personal experience of eating disorders as patients or carers (including June Alexander, Anna Crane, Grainne Smith, Pam Macdonald). I have also worked closely with eating disorder charities, BEAT, SUCCEED, student run self help (SRSH) and diabetics with eating disorders (DWED) in order to improve awareness and access to effective treatments.”
Personally, Janet Treasure has been a source of great encouragement since rebuilding my life after years of battling anorexia and bulimia. Often, survivors of eating disorders feel ‘less than best’ in the company of others. We can easily feel inferior, and not ‘as good’ as those around us. Just because we have had an eating disorder. Never mind that we have done the hard work and recovered. We can remain vulnerable to feeling that others continue to look upon us as ‘weak’, ‘not quite all there’, ‘not to be fully depended upon’ or ‘treated equally’. In short, we feel acknowledgement and respect is sometimes lacking.
But Janet Treasure does respect and acknowledge us. She helps us feel we are worthwhile and helps us believe that we can indeed use our experience to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives. She learns from us. And we learn from, and are inspired by, her. If answers are to be found in treating eating disorders, Professor Treasure knows that those answers will be found in talking to and studying the families, carers, and sufferers. It is a two-way street, and Professor Treasure is like a pied piper, leading the way to recovery.
I feel deeply honoured to be Professor Treasurer’s co-author in writing the second edition of Anorexia Nervosa – a Recovery Guide for Sufferers, Families and Friends . We look forward launching this book in Brisbane, Australia at the At Home with Eating Disorders Conference, May 23-25, this year. Janet will be a keynote speaker. See you there!