Someone I knew well suffered with an eating disorder. They were getting worse daily and in hospital.

I searched for a specialist clinic that could help but quickly realised that there were none specialising in this specific area. Most approaches put adults and young people together and then mixed them with patients suffering from many other mental illnesses. I believed there had to be a better way.

I spoke to specialists across the country, found out everything I possibly could about this disorder, anything that could help her recover. But before I could get her specialist treatment she passed away.

As I began to talk about my experiences I discovered many other people struggling to find support and help for their loved ones. Having learned so much I felt unable to simply walk away. I wanted to share that knowledge; to have other parents and carers experience joy and relief at seeing their loved ones come through this serious life-threatening affliction. For others to know there is hope; that this does not have to be the pattern for their life.

Riverdale was the result. As a specialist team focussing just on eating disorders it quickly grew in size as people heard about the approach and its successes. Recently I had the pleasure of opening a new, larger and purpose built wing to help even more people.

I, and all the staff at Riverdale, strive to improve and continue to learn so we can help many more. We remain at the forefront of medical thinking using the Maudsley Approach. Our values come from the experience I went through. What I wanted for her is what I want for every one of the people we care for. Respect for the individual, professionalism coupled with personal care, the highest standards and absolute confidentiality. It underpins everything we do. Visit us and you will understand why I can say that. As you read this you have already started to take the first steps. Please don’t stop now, do call us.

We can help you.

Jennifer Barlow

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