Coast property 'ground zero' of eating disorder treatment
A WINDY driveway lined with tall trees and open fields gave visitors the sense of tranquillity that's essential at the Australian-first eating disorder treatment facility at Mooloolah Valley.
In support of International Eating Disorder Awareness Day yesterday, girls who suffered, survived and are still battling gathered on the grounds of their new facility to raise awareness for the "taboo" subject.
Smiles spread across their faces as they chatted with other struggling women, highlighting the important work Sunshine Coast charity, endED strived for.
Co-owner of endED, Mark Forbes said construction on the nation's first eating disorder support facility, The Butterfly House, would start in four weeks.
His 25 acre property would be the site of the open-air residence, with focuses on equine therapy, holistic healing and an outdoors approach to their support.
"When the girls turn up they smile immediately and that's what we take away from it," he said.
"People are so wrapped in guilt, shame and suffering with eating disorders, and that's what we are changing.
"Topics like depression are now openly discussed, and that's what we want for eating disorders."
THE TRUTH ABOUT EATING DISORDERS
- The number of people in Australia with an eating disorder at any given time is estimated to be 913,986
- Of these people, 47% have binge eating disorder, 12% have bulimia nervosa, 3% have anorexia nervosa and 38% have other eating disorders
- Females comprise around 64% of people with an eating disorder
- In comparison to the general population, mortality rates are almost twice as high for people with eating disorders
- Suicide has been identified as a major cause of death for people with an eating disorder
- The prevalence of eating disorders is increasing amongst boys and men
Source: Eating Disorders Victoria
Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace also had a hand in bringing the dream to life saying the Sunshine Coast was "ground zero" for national eating disorder support.
The Federal Government has teamed up and funded $6 million to the facility which will help get it off the ground for at least four years.
After a national trial, Mr Wallace said the government will roll-out $110 million to provide treatment of eating disorders under Medicare rebates for up to 40 services per year.
Mr Wallace said a "taboo" around eating disorders has prevented significant government funding in the past, but the "rays of light" were starting to peek through.
"Eating disorders are not understood well in the medical profession so there's still a lot of work to do on how to treat people suffering," he said.
"We all need to bring it out into the open and be a lot more understand of the pure hell people are going through."
If you would like to donate, visit www.ended.com.au