Fifty years ago this month, I was developing Anorexia Nervosa, an illness that nobody in rural Australia knew about back then. The illness sabotaged four decades of my life. For fast recovery, early intervention is critical. Today we have a national website. Nowhere for ED to hide. Get that, ED, nowhere for you to hide. Help us expose this dreadful illness, share the website with everyone you know.
I’m (exceedingly) glad Australia is taking steps to ensure ED has nowhere to hide. Credit goes to the Federal Government for listening and enabling the launch of this Government initiated national website to provide comprehensive and reliable information on eating disorders.
Eating disorders are serious biologically-based, psychiatric illnesses that cause significant physical, as well as mental and emotional, impairment. They are far more prevalent than many people are aware and they are too often fatal.
In launching the website, the Federal Minister for Mental Health, Mark Butler, said: “I am delighted to see this new online resource available for all Australians, providing the latest evidence-based information about eating disorders. It is a strong collection of helpful material, designed to meet the needs of parents, teachers and health professionals, and draws from the most up-to-date international research and best practice.”
The new website explains eating disorders, provides information on where to get help across Australia, and features an evidence-based clearinghouse for research and resources on eating disorders.
Christine Morgan, National Director of the National Eating Disorders Collaboration said:
Eating disorder behaviour has increased two-fold in Australia in the last five years, with data indicating that approximately 15 per cent of Australian women will need clinical intervention for an eating disorder in their lifetime. Approximately 9 per cent of all Australians, both men and women, will be affected by an eating disorder at some point in their lives. This is why it is important that we start to make eating disorders a health priority. One shared source of evidence based information will support communication about eating disorders between health treatment professionals, teachers families, and young people.
Development of the new website has involved consultation with hundreds of representatives from eating disorders sector, including people with a personal experience of eating disorders and their families and carers, researchers and clinicians together with experts from related fields including mental health, public health, health promotion, education, and the media.
Take a look, provide feedback
Check out the website wherever you live – this is a “soft” launch and your opinion is important. Do you find it easy to follow? Do you see something that could be more complete or improved? Is there something missing? What information do you want to see on this site? Is there enough information for families, for adults with eating disorders?
The official launch will be held later this year. Meanwhile, feel free to browse the site. The NEDC, of which I am a member, would love to know what you think. We would like to raise awareness of this new website and would appreciate if you could distribute the new website information through your channels, as appropriate. To provide feedback, any type – positive or constructive, send email: firstname.lastname@example.org