The Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders (ANZAED) and National Eating Disorder Collaboration (NEDC) welcome the announcement in the federal budget of $26.9 million in funding to provide support for people with eating disorders and their families. Eating disorders represent a significant mental health issue affecting close to one million Australians each year and impacting people of all ages and genders plus their carers and families.
The $26.9 million of funding includes $2.5m over two years for ANZAED and the NEDC to progress a credentialing system for eating disorder treatment providers, together with associated support for treatment providers in the areas of training and supervision, and related research.
Dr Kim Hurst, President of ANZAED, said that she is delighted that the government recognises the significance of eating disorders as a condition and is continuing with its support, by building on previous key initiatives, such as the introduction of specific Medicare item numbers for eating disorder treatment. “The credentialing system will both connect people facing eating disorders with credentialed treatment providers and assist in workforce development, in enhancing access to appropriate care and promoting effective evidence-based treatment”.
Welcoming the budget inclusions, Dr Beth Shelton, National Director NEDC, commented that the eating disorder credential will provide formal recognition of the qualifications, knowledge, training, and professional development standards needed to meet minimum standards for delivery of safe and effective eating disorders treatment.
Other eating disorder initiatives announced in the federal budget are: $1.9 million to provide training to staff in the Head to Health adult mental health treatment centres; $13 million to establish a National Eating Disorder Research Centre; $0.3 million to continue Eating Disorders Families Australia’s strive program, which provides support for families and carers of people with eating disorders; and working in partnership with states and territories to explore opportunities to establish additional eating disorder day programs.
ANZAED and NEDC look forward to collaborating widely as we continue our work to connect people facing eating disorders with credentialed treatment providers.
Anybody needing support with eating disorder or body image issues is encouraged to contact the Butterfly National Helpline on 1800 334673 or for urgent support to call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
ANZAED is the peak body for eating disorder professionals involved in research, prevention, treatment and advocacy in Australia, New Zealand and beyond. ANZAED fosters networking and professional development in the eating disorder field and aims to provide leadership and advocacy to improve the understanding, prevention and treatment of eating disorders www.anzaed.org.au.
NEDC is an initiative of the Australian Government dedicated to developing and implementing a nationally consistent, evidence-based system of care for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders www.nedc.com.au.