On Thursday 9 October, the Minister for Mental Health in Victoria, Mary Woolridge, launched Victoria’s inaugural Eating Disorders Strategy. The Coalition Government’s investment of more than $10 million into the strategy aims to improve treatment and support for Victorian people with an eating disorder, their families and carers.
Butterfly Foundation CEO, Christine Morgan, praised the Victorian Government for its whole-of-government approach, and the level of detail and commitment it has provided in the Eating Disorders Strategy, noting that it has taken into account and included the voice of the lived experience in its response and implementation.
Each state and territory is equally responsible for a national approach to the treatment, support and prevention of eating disorders, along with the Federal Government, community and private sector health and care systems.
“We would like to thank Minister Woolridge and the Government for recognising the contributions those with a lived experience can have to the way in which the Strategy has been developed and will be implemented,” said Ms Morgan.
“We were also delighted to have the Minister recognise our Founder and Executive Director Ms Claire Vickery for her leadership, advocacy and contribution to the Government’s Strategy.”
The Butterfly Foundation also wishes to congratulate the Government for adopting the NEDC (National Eating Disorders Collaboration) Framework Principals, which ground the Strategy in an evidence-base and sector informed approach. Noteworthy elements of the Strategy are:
- The inclusion of two Taskforces that will guide the successful implementation of the strategy. Importantly the Taskforce creation has recognised the distinct and critical areas of Treatment and Support, and Prevention and Early Detection.
- Prioritising training and workforce development for key groups such as those who work in health promotion, teaching and youth support. As well as the urgent need for frontline primary care professionals and clinically trained practitioners to receive professional development training so that they can identify and treat people presenting with eating disorders.
- Developing a service-level framework that details the expected roles and relationships between the multiple services with a role in identifying, treating and supporting people with eating disorders.
“We are encouraged by the Government’s acknowledgments of the negative and positive role the media plays in the discussion and portrayal of all issues related to body image and eating disorders. We look forward to the Government building upon existing and effective evidence-based media guidelines and media literacy programs, and congratulate them for showing leadership in this area,” said Ms Morgan.
“The Strategy has some extremely valuable components for responding to the needs of Victorians who are living with an eating disorder. A whole of life and community approach to eating disorders and the contributory illnesses and behaviours is a well-founded benchmark for delivering an appropriate and effective state health system response.”
Butterfly Foundation Founder & Executive Director, Ms Claire Vickery commented, “This is a significant milestone for Victoria. We believe that this Strategy will give people across the state hope that their call for help has been heard. We look forward to the roll-out and implementation of the Victorian Eating Disorders Strategy accompanied by the necessary education and workforce development to ensure long-term benefits are realised.”
Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact the Butterfly National Eating Disorders Supportline on 1800 33 4673 (1800 ED HOPE).
Media enquiries: Elaine Banoub, 0412 323 7673 / 02 9212 3888