Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses, carrying one of the highest mortality rates among mental health conditions. Peak onset for eating disorders is during adolescence and early adulthood (although anyone can develop an eating disorder at any age), with referral rates rising both pre- and post-pandemic. The 18-25 age group accounted for half of the referrals (Source: Viljoen, 2022)
The FREED model, developed by a team of researchers at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and King’s College London, is a treatment model within an eating disorder service which provides rapid intervention, helping to reduce the length of time that an eating disorder goes untreated.
Individuals referred to a FREED service will receive a telephone consultation within 48 hours of referral and begin treatment within four weeks, or two weeks especially in clinically serious cases.
Through the programme, which runs until the end of March 2023, AHSNs are supporting their local system with business case development, recruitment, training with SLaM and enhancing shared learning opportunities.