Inspiring talk on Eating Disorders

Brampton students inspired by a father’s personal story of supporting a daughter with anorexia…

Dr Elizabeth McNaught is a medical doctor with personal experience of eating disorders. She was diagnosed with anorexia at the age of 14, leading to an admission to a general hospital, many months in an inpatient hospital and years in community care.

She fought hard against her illness and secured a place at medical school, qualifying as a doctor in 2016. She is now dedicated to using her experiences combined with her medical knowledge to improve awareness and treatment of eating disorders. She has written the best-selling book, Life Hurts: a doctor’s personal journey through anorexia.

Nick Pollard is Dr McNaught’s father. Despite his own undergraduate and postgraduate studies in cognitive psychology, he did not initially recognise and respond appropriately to his own daughter’s illness. As part of Brampton College’s Inspire Programme, he spoke to our students last week about the personal as well as professional insights he gained which became instrumental in her recovery.

Nick’s perspective as a father was particularly poignant and insightful. He was an inspirational speaker who was able to articulate a very personal and powerful account of a young woman’s journey towards overcoming anorexia, and the extent to which her family understanding and support was crucial to her recovery. One of the key messages was that you don’t have to be a trained professional to diagnose an eating disorder – he talked about how friends can recognise it. Lizzie wishes her friends had recognised and said something sooner. Both staff and pupils found the presentation genuinely inspirational and educative.