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Sept. 10, 2021

University of Kent launches online pilot study into eating disorders

University of KentThe University of Kent is running a pilot study into eating disorders and an looking at an innovative new recovery option.

Lecturer in Film and Media Studies at the University of Kent, Dr Dieter Declercq, is the Principal Investigator – with co-investigator, Dr Una Foye, from King’s College London – for this new pilot study called, ‘Stand-up as recovery: comedy workshops for eating disorders’.

Dr Declercq and Dr Foye, together with Dave Chawner – comedian and spokesperson of BEAT: The UK’s eating disorder charity – have created Comedy for Coping – a six-week interactive online comedy course aimed at people with experience of an eating disorder. Throughout the online course, the team will explore how comedy can be used to support recovery.

The project aims to develop a stand-up comedy workshop series for eating disorder recovery. Dr Declercq explains, “The workshops are designed as fun way to develop vital recovery skills, including building confidence, making connections, and overcoming stigma. Recovery can be a very daunting prospect, so this course aims to reach demographics who we know may find it more difficult to engage with traditional recovery programmes, including men and minority groups.”

The project has been developed in close collaboration with comedian Dave Chawner, who draws from his own experience in the workshops. The workshops have been co-developed developed by a team of experts in comedy and eating disorders, and the course is fully funded by the British Academy to help evaluate the impact that this comedy workshop has on recovery and also to identify which specific workshop components impact on recovery the best.

Find out more about Comedy for Coping on the BEAT website, and contact Jade Peters at to find out more and book a place on the online course.

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Content added on 10th September 2021. 

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