MEET FLORENCE TAGLIGHT
Florence Taglight is a mental health activist and primary school teacher who recovered from anorexia. She is committed to ensuring mental health is taught to children with as much emphasis as other subjects. Florence is curating a training program for teachers and other school adults to learn about eating disorder signs, symptoms, and importantly, prevention and early intervention.
FREEBIES: Florence runs free training on eating disorders facts, myths, and signs for schools and other workplaces to help them become informed about the people around them. To book or enquire please email or DM her.
IN THIS PODCAST
- Florence’s experience with ED
- Training that incorporates mental health
- Mental health first
Florence’s experience with EDDuring high school, Florence had no prior issues with food or body image. She was a school athlete and enjoyed her activities wholeheartedly.
It wasn’t until I was finishing up school that everything kind of [started] … the anorexia, and exercise addiction all came into play. (Florence Taglight)At the time of this change and the start of Florence’s eating disorder, she moved to America for university and ended a romantic relationship that had been going on for six and a half years.
There were a lot of changes [that I went through, and] that I didn’t know how to express that I wasn’t as confident as I seemed about them. (Florence Taglight)
Training that incorporates mental healthNow, in her recovery era and with the experience and wisdom that she has gained, Florence is working to create educational training programs that incorporate mental health.
I’m not asking for them to train teachers to be therapists, I’m asking them to train teachers to know the signs that you can look out for, the warning signs, and the next steps. (Florence Taglight)In her past as a teacher herself, Florence – due to her experience with ED – noticed some warning signs in a child but was not able to take it further because it wasn’t her “place” to do so as the teacher.
If teachers aren’t trained to spot it, they’re not going to and [for] those with eating disorders, early intervention is key … it is the thing that is going to save that person or that child’s life, and I think that parents aren’t often aware of it either. (Florence Taglight)It is important for communication to be available and open between parents and teachers because the kids are with the teachers for many hours each day, and they can notice changes in behavior.
Mental health firstMany medical interventions focus on the weight and the numbers first before any attention is given to the patient’s mental health. In many cases when it comes to eating disorders, the disorder came to be due to a difficult or strained mental health state due to painful trauma, sudden strong change, or tumultuous and unresolved emotions. Therefore, resolving physical ailments is only half the battle. The focus needs to be put on the mental health aspect as well.
I’m concerned about the mental health of our people, as opposed to what they look like, and weight-shaming them. (Florence Taglight)For kids, emotional literacy is important to cultivate, especially from a young age, because many emotional outbursts can come from kids not knowing how to explain what they feel or to even label it.
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