Any experienc of positive support for anorexic students at uni?(6 Posts)
Hi my DD had to change schools and re-do year 10 due to this disgusting disease. She has done very well, but it has taken a lot of support from us, the school (incredibly wonderful) and her boyfriend. She is looking at going miles from home for Uni next year. I am suggesting she stays within 2 hours of home (London), anyone out there had good/bad experiences at unis? She is looking at York, Bristol, Exeter and UEA to do drama/english. Any help very welcome please x
This sort of thing will be dealt with by the Disability Service Office which each university will have (though names may vary). I'd suggest contacting the DSO of each university to see what support can be put in place. They're usually very good, and there is funding available for these things.
One thing to keep in mind is the choice between catered and self catered accommodation. I have no real experience of anorexia, so I can't advise, but relevant points seem to be
- food may be of questionable quality / niceness
- large, very sociable dining halls to eat in
- often not catered for 21 meals a week
- very difficult to calorie count
- tend to have only small, overcrowded kitchenettes (often have 20 people sharing something tiny) available for any other meals
- cook what you want, when you want
- fewer people per kitchen (8 is a fairly normal number)
- better kitchen facilities
- will have somewhere to sit down and eat that is only accessible to others in her flat
- easier to calorie count
Either way, no one is going to watch what / if she is eating. Still, it's worth considering this now, as some universities only have one sort or the other. With DSO support, you should be able to guarantee a place in one particular type of halls
I have been a personal tutor to students with eating disorders.
When in halls, the resident tutor had a brief to meet up with them and talk through how they were managing. All had chosen self-catering. It was harder to monitor when they moved onto a shared house though, but most got through ok.
All had regular appointments with our Counselling Service.
My DD1 is at Exeter, and her anorexia hit hard during her first year.
I can't praise them enough. I can't remember how the support services were alerted (your DD can do that prior to going I imagine) but they were nothing but helpful..as was the GP DD was under there. The eating disorders people were great too.
DD1 is just finishing her 3rd year now (5 yr course as Medicine) and is currently based at Truro and uni have kept a very close eye on her there too.. regular chats and a bit of TLC and she has made it from 6 stone at 5 ft 9 back to a normal weight and no major relapses. She is seen regularly by the support team there.
Also..the first year, which was stressful, she had a good support network of friends who have helped her through the rough times.
Another friend with anorexia, went to Uni, dropped out after a term as not happy and her condition deteriorated. However 2 years later she went to another uni (UEA) where she too is doing well and has not relapsed. She was critically ill during her A level years and we honestly thought we would lose her.
Just two ..'it can be ok' stories
My niece went to York, initially stayed in Halls with other students on a self catering basis. She found the kitchen quite dirty and felt unable to eat in front of others and use shared items, as well as watching others munching away. The Uni does have a few bedsits, for students who prefer to be alone and with their own personal kitchenette and my niece transferred to one of these. These rooms are more expensive but might be worth considering. The Uni seemed to have done their utmost to help out, though unfortunately my niece has had to defer her studies until she is a bit better, as she continued to lose weight and it has been difficult for her parents travelling to and fro (3 hour journey).
Just about to pack my DD off to Bristol, they have been wonderful in providing her with a counsellor and lots of support. She is going self catering and has made contact with another girl in her hall who seems lovely. Hoping she will stay weight recovered. Thank you to all who offered help on this thread, very helpful. And love to all who are doing the same x
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