Meet the Eating Disorder Associate: Layla

Layla is a new member of Orri’s Eating Disorder Associates (EDAs) team. She supports clients and the clinicians in her day-to-day, for the in person programme. Read our blog on what brought her to work in eating disorders and how she is finding the role so far.

Can you take a moment to introduce yourself?

My name is Layla, I am originally Palestinian but grew up in London and I identify as she/her/hers.

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

I have only recently started working as an EDA at Orri, and before this I was a healthcare assistant at an inpatient eating disorder unit in London. I am also currently studying Developmental Psychology as a Master’s degree.

How would you describe your role to people outside Orri?

I would describe my role at Orri as supporting clients in their recovery in any way helpful to them – whether it be a chat or lending an ear. I’m a friendly face at the start, middle and end of the day.  

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really enjoy meeting and getting to know new clients, hearing their stories, and developing that important therapeutic relationship.

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

I think the most challenging aspect of my role is helping our clients to fight that negative voice that comes in the way of their recovery.

What do you feel is most unique about Orri?

The approach Orri takes, particularly encouraging openness and transparency when discussing emotions behind the eating disorder, is what makes it so special and unique.

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

I enjoy cooking with my family, travelling and exploring new places (preferably with some sunshine!) and going on long walks with my dog.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Life is tough but so are you.”

Do you have a mental health hero?

I wouldn’t say I have a specific hero, but I really enjoy Instagram accounts, such as @howmental, which provide daily reminders about looking after your mental health. I think they’re particularly great when most social media websites are filled with unhealthy, toxic content.

Why did you decide to work in mental health?

I was always interested in how the mind works, and the connection between mind and body. I noticed a total lack of awareness and huge stigma around mental health, and I wanted to play a part in changing that.    

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

Do it! Don’t be afraid to attend to your mental health, you will never regret it.

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