The deputy head of Immanuel College this week points to a “staggering” increase in pupils reporting mental ill-health.

There is no reason to think this school is alone or that members of the Jewish community are any less suscepible than the rest of society to the  plethora of conditions that fall under this umbrella.

There could be an argument, in fact, that the high attainment levels of our faith schools and the expectations of many Jewish parents (“my son the doctor/dentist/lawyer”) make the pressures all the more intense.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week is an opportunity to reflect on this. It is also an opportunity to further dent the taboo that continues to surround issues of mental health – albeit a taboo that is significantly weaker than just a few years ago thanks, in part, to pioneering work by the likes of Jonny Benjamin.

We are proud to carry the brave account by Liora Cadranel, who has battled anorexia. She has shown admirable leadership in deciding to waive the anonymity Jewish News was happy to offer in the hope of turning her battle into an opportunity help others.

We pray Liora’s bold move will give comfort to those currently battling in silence, show there is light at the end of the tunnel and encourage more people to talk publicly about these issues affecting so many of our family, friends and colleague – whether we are aware of it or not.

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