Meet the Eating Disorder Associate: Nia

Nia has been working at Orri for 6 months, bringing passion to her role as an Eating Disorder Associate. We sat her down to find out more about the day in the life of an EDA, her psychology studies and love of cold water swimming!

Can you take a moment to introduce yourself?

Hi I’m Nia.

How long have you been an Eating Disorder Associate (EDA) for and what were you doing before Orri?

I have been an EDA for 6 months. Prior to this I was at university studying psychology.

How would you describe your role to people outside Orri?

As an EDA our role is super hands on. We spend most of the day supporting clients, this maybe on a 1:1 basis or in a group setting. We spend a lot of the time with clients during meals, supporting them in what is often the most difficult intervention of the day. It can be highly rewarding seeing the change in clients approach to food and how they manage meals by the time they leave. 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

My favourite part of the job is getting the chance to be part of the clients’ recovery journeys. Witnessing their strength and bravery on a daily basis is so incredibly inspiring. Watching them over come the obstacles that are before them and fight to beat their eating disorder makes everything about my job worthwhile.

What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your role?

I find the most challenging thing about my job seeing clients in distress. It’s really hard when I clearly see clients eating disorders are lying to them, but their eating disorders are so powerful the client is often blind to it. It is in these moments I wish I could take it away from them. I have learnt to sit with this discomfort and offer them a fresh insight. I might not be able to take it away but I can offer them a different perspective and even if this only makes a marginal difference it is something.

What do you feel is most unique about Orri?

The most unique thing about Orri is the tailored approach that is taken towards clients. Every client is treated as an individual and the approach to their recovery is taken in this same way. What works for one persons recovery is not necessarily going to work for another person. Orri comes alongside every single one of its client to find the best approach for them.

Outside of work, what do you do for your own mental wellbeing?

For my own mental wellbeing I love a bit of cold water swimming. I find it so therapeutic, the cold water always helps to help ground me. I particularly like going for a swim in the sea. I find being in the ocean helps to put things in perspective and reminds me of the bigger picture. I can easily get caught up in the little things and something about the fresh sea air takes me out of my head and grounded into reality.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

One of my favourite inspirational quote is:

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in getting up every time we fall.”

We can’t expect to go through life without trials and tribulations, however the way in which we pick ourselves up in these moments is paramount and I believe shows true bravery and courage.

Do you have a mental health hero?

I have so many mental health heroes. The clients I work with on a daily basis inspire me; the commitment to their recovery and their willingness to do the work.  I have a very close friend who is another one of mental health heroes. She has been through more than is really comprehendible but continues to pick herself up and live her life to the fullest. She has shown me that the way we respond to life is often more important than what happens in life.

If you had one piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?

The idea of going to therapy can be very intimidating and shrouded by stereotypes that people avoid it together. However, I would encourage everyone to give it a try. See it as investment, that future you will be so proud of embarking on.

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