Seen But Not Heard: Eating Disorders

Seen but not heard

Seen But Not Heard is a collective advocacy eating disorder project.

It began with the film ‘Seen But Not Heard’ which was concerned with highlighting the impact eating disorders have on people’s lives. The project was funded by The Butterfly Bursary, which is a research and education bursary set up by NHS Lothian in memory of Lindsay Weddell, a vibrant and thoughtful young woman who sadly died from anorexia nervosa.

Niamh Allen and volunteers Katie and Maeve were supported by CAPS in producing a film.  The film was developed through workshops and showed different stories about people living with eating disorders, and highlighted what services are available, or in many cases, what services and treatment are not available.

The film was launched in December 2013 at the Butterfly Bursary Stakeholder event and was very well received by the audience. Following this the film was shown in the Scottish Parliament during Eating Disorder Awareness Week in February 2014. The film was also screened at The Taking Stock event about the Lothian mental health strategy in May 2014.seenbutnotheardfilm

The success of the film lead to the creation of a collective advocacy project and Niamh Allen and Maeve Coyle were employed to develop this further. In 2014 the film was used in direct work with young people by arranging film screenings, facilitating discussions and relating personal experiences throughout high schools, universities and Eating Disorder Units across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

We were awarded another grant in 2015 to make another film, this time with young people, using advocacy to share their stories and experiences of an eating disorder. This film will launch in 2016 and be made available in high schools across Edinburgh and the Lothians. We want the film and our work to act as an early intervention tool as this is a key factor that was identified through the work with the first film.

We also received a small grant from See Me to produce a GP resource pack about eating disorders; “Living with an Eating Disorder – What you need to know.” It includes:

·        A poster (for raising awareness in the surgery)

·        A booklet (available in the waiting room for people with eating disorders as well as the general public to take away)

·        An information leaflet for GPs and other members of the primary care team

This GP resource pack was developed by people who have lived experience of eating disorders to produce information from their perspective that would be helpful for GPs to better understand how to offer good care and treatment to people who need their help. The booklet contains real stories and experiences that people with eating disorders can relate to and feel encouraged by. Thanks to extra funding from the Butterfly Bursary we were able to print more copies of the poster and booklet. An online version of the booklet is available here.



There is also a longer version available which can be made available upon request.

If you would like to know more about any of the work or would like to become involved as part of a collective eating disorder project please contact Niamh at or phone 0131 273 5116.



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