Beat has received a £30,940 grant from the Welsh government to continue its work with people affected by eating disorders in Wales.
The grant comes as part of a £1.3m support package for Welsh mental health services. This additional funding will help expand online and telephone services to people affected by eating disorders in Wales, as well as continue to support Beat’s National Officer for Wales.
Beat has seen unprecedented demand for its services over the past six months, with contact to its Helpline services almost doubling compared to the same period in 2019.
Beat’s chief executive, Andrew Radford, said: ‘It’s extremely encouraging that the Welsh Government have chosen to prioritise mental health provision in their latest support package.
‘We know that the past few months have caused a great deal of upheaval for those affected by eating disorders in Wales, including changes to treatment plans, support networks and routines.
‘As a result, we have seen unprecedented demand for our support services, with further increases expected in months to come.
‘We are extremely grateful for this extra support which will allow us to increase provision for Welsh sufferers and their families at such a crucial time.’
Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said: ‘Surveys by the Office of National Statistics and Public Health Wales have shown that levels of anxiety rose at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and have remained higher than usual during lockdown.
‘NHS Wales and partners already provide some phone and online-based mental health support but today’s announcement will extend what is already available and provide a new online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course, that anyone aged 16 or over can access.
‘The Welsh Government is committed to supporting the mental health of the public, and we have ensured this package of additional measures are in place ahead of any potential second wave this winter and as the impact of the pandemic is felt more widely.
‘These services are aimed at helping low-level mental health issues; they are not a replacement for more specialist services but we hope by providing instant access to support they will help reduce pressure on primary care and other more specialist services.’