THE Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s Eating Disorder team is launching a suite of animated videos to mark Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019.

Together with their service users, Valley and Vale Community Arts and the Arts Council of Wales, the videos - “Getting the Message Across” – show the reality of the condition.

Eating Disorders can affect anyone at any age.

They are a serious medical condition that can have many knock-on effects to a person’s health, but they often trivialised, stigmatised and misunderstood.

Eating Disorders Awareness week puts true stories in the spotlight, helping people understand the reality of living with these conditions and reassuring them support is available.

The hand-drawn animations convey the experiences of five service users as they discuss the physical and emotional effects of eating disorders, the cycle of bingeing and purging associated with bulimia, and their road to recovery.

The moving films were made possible thanks to funding from the Cardiff & Vale Health Charity’s staff lottery.

They will be an innovative and artistic new resource to improve staff training and awareness raising around eating disorders.

They are also an informative resource for those with conditions themselves to help them feel better informed and less isolated.

Consultant clinical psychologist for the Cardiff and Vale UHB eating disorders service, Dr Debbie Woodward said: “I’m incredibly proud of what the team of service users with the guidance of the creative team from Valley and Vale Community Arts have been able to achieve with this project.

"These films, although short, cut to the core of what it means to live with an eating disorder, but also offer an insight into how recovery can be started.

“The service users themselves have really bonded over these films and now have a credit to their names as filmmakers.

"Engagement with artistic projects such as this one can in itself be a sort of therapy and it has been very heartening to see that occur. You can truly feel their input when you watch these animations.”

Cardiff and Vale UHB will be formally launching the videos at a special event at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, on March 7.