Eating Disorder charity site launched in memory of Laurence

The family of a 24 year-old man who died after battling an eating disorder has launched a website to help people cope with the devastating effects of the illness.

Laurence Nugent died in 2009, having suffered from bulimia and severe depression, and now his mother Pam and brother Chris have decided to launch some online help for people and families affected in a similar way.

Coinciding with Eating Disorder Awareness Week, the website has been launched to bring “much needed help, support and information to men living with an eating disorder and their carers”, said the family.

The website, which has been funded by public donations, aims to bring much needed help, support and information to men living with an eating disorder and their carers.

The Laurence Trust was founded on 26 January 2012 following the death of Laurence Nugent on 30 September 2009 at the age of 24.

It was set up and is run by Laurence’s Mother, Brother, family members and friends; all who are striving to raise awareness of this issue, and fundraise to fund the charity.

It aims to help men become better informed about their eating disorder, to aid them in sharing their experiences to educate healthcare providers and their families so they can begin to understand their suffering and ensure that they get the right treatment they are entitled to.

In 2012/13 over 400 outpatients treated for eating disorder related health issues in Northern Ireland, according to Northern Ireland Health & Social Care Trusts, but it is thought the true extent of eating disorders in men is not known.

Chris Nugent, Laurence’s brother and Chairman of The Laurence Trust explained: “It is difficult to ever truly understand the extent to which eating disorders affect sufferers, as only those who seek or receive treatment are recorded, this does not account for those who suffer in silence, making an accurate prevalence rate very hard to calculate.

“Still the fatal nature of this condition cannot be underestimated which unfortunately my family discovered with Laurence; the website is a step forward towards preventing this happening to other families.”

“The Laurence Trust intends to act as a voice for people living with an eating disorder and inform the public that men are affected too. They need the same support and help just as much as women do, and in turn attempt to break the stereotype that an eating disorder is exclusively a ‘woman’s problem’.”

Pam Nugent, Laurence’s mother and Founder Member of The Laurence Trust added: “We are delighted to launch The Laurence Trust website, which is a vital resource for parents and young people living every day with an eating disorder.

“Although our focus is raising awareness of eating disorders in young men, I have recent experience of speaking with mothers who are caring for young girls and have discovered this condition makes no distinctions. The website will be a valuable tool for everyone seeking help, support and information on eating disorders.”

She added:”I believe the website will become that source of help to men and women suffering and feeling the same despair as Laurence felt; as well as giving hope to families so they can encourage their loved ones to seek help to avoid becoming another fatality like Laurence.

For help or for more information visit www.thelaurencetrust.co.uk, find the charity on Facebook, or email [email protected]