Laying the Groundwork for Eating Disorders System Reform in Australia

While acknowledging funding provided in this year’s Federal Budget, members of the Eating Disorder Alliance of Australia (EDAA) have called on the Federal Government to involve EDAA members in the system reform process.

In February, Minister for Health, the Hon Mark Butler MP, called out eating disorders as “a national crisis” on the ABC 4 Corners program. While the recently announced Federal Budget does go some way to address the crisis, EDAA, representing the voice of lived experience and health professionals within the eating disorder sector in Australia, says more is needed.
Members of the Eating Disorder Alliance of Australia (EDAA) include Butterfly Foundation (Butterfly), Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA), Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV), Eating Disorders Queensland (EDQ), and the Australia & New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders (ANZAED). EDAA is pleased to acknowledge the following 12-month funding commitments:

  •  $1.25m for Wandi Nerida, Australia’s only residential treatment centre for eating disorders, managed by Butterfly
  • $800k for the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC), to develop clinical resources, support workforce development, and continue work on the National Eating Disorders Strategy, administered by Butterfly
  • $150k for Eating Disorders Families Australia, supporting their National Support and Education programs for families and carers of those with eating disorders
  • $450k for ANZAED, to continue to expand connect•ed, ANZAEDs Eating Disorder Credential, ,to include GPs
  • $100k contribution towards Butterfly Body Bright (BBB) – a whole of school Primary School program promoting positive body image. BBB is already being accessed by more than 400 Australian primary schools across Australia, and includes tools and resources to build and maintain positive body image, prevent body dissatisfaction, and reduce appearance pressures – known risk factors for developing eating disorders. Butterfly’s 17 years working in prevention and early intervention also includes Body Kind Schools, Body Kind Families, Body Kind Clubs, and more, supporting educators, communities and parents to foster positive body image in young people.

More broadly, EDAA welcomes the focus on primary health care, including incentivising GPs to bulk bill, the inclusion of case conferencing as part of the Eating Disorder Management Plan under Medicare and investment in the mental health workforce, including additional postgraduate psychology places. We also welcome cost-of-living support to reduce financial distress, noting the association between food insecurity and eating disorder pathology.

Read this press release in full here.