15 Jan 2021 News

Supporting Victorians with eating disorders

Minister for Mental Health James Merlino yesterday announced that the Andrews Labor Government would invest $2 million to ensure people with eating disorders are getting the care they need.

The new $6.3 million unit at Box Hill Hospital will boost the number of beds within the area ensuring the mental health needs of individuals, families and the community are met.

While the Royal Commission into Mental Health will deliver its final report in February, we are responding to the mental health needs of Victorians now.

The $2 million in new funding for Victorians with eating disorders comes following a significant increasing in eating disorder presentations since the pandemic with child and youth mental health services in metropolitan Melbourne experiencing the highest impacts.

The new funding includes $500,000 for Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) to continue deliver programs that improve quality of life for clients with an eating disorder and reducing hospital readmission rates.

EDV will also use the funding to create a new dedicated program for people with severe and enduring eating disorders, who have disengaged from treatment and have extremely poor quality of life, including social isolation.

A further $1.5 million is to be invested across six metropolitan health services to provide specialist mental health clinicians to care for young people with eating disorders.

Eating disorders are a serious mental illness that have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness. Many people experiencing an eating disorder suffer from depression and anxiety with rates for anorexia 32 times higher than the general population.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.