June 8, 2015

The Eating Disorder Association of Ireland, Bodywhys, saw a 50% increase in the number of people contacting its services last year.

The figures are contained in the organisation's annual report, which is being launched today.

Bodywhys says last year there was a 30% rise in the number of calls to its helpline, while there was also a 24% increase in emails to its online support service.

Bodywhys Services Manager Harriet Parsons has said the rise in people contacting the service is not a cause for concern.

Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms Parsons said it is a reflection of the conversation surrounding de-stigmatisation of mental health problems.

The organisation's latest research also shows that the highest proportion of calls concerned a person with an eating disorder aged between 25 and 35.

Half of callers were not in any form of professional treatment.

Bodywhys also added that 63% of those who contacted the organisation online were also not in treatment.