The At Home with Eating Disorders Conference in Brisbane is, in one word, amazing.
The conference opened this morning. A dream come true. From small things, big things can grow. In this instance, a widening awareness of the serious need to provide improved treatment and support for sufferers of eating disorders.
The Brisbane conference is a much needed event for families of Australia (and beyond).
Seventeen months of planning has led to more than 200 people gathering at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital for a two day conference, focused on providing knowledge, skills and support for carers of people with eating disorders.
Today I had the honour of contributing to Professor Cynthia Bulik’s keynote presentation – Prof. Bulik spoke about genetics, midlife eating disorders and UCAN (Uniting Couples in the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa). We don’t have UCAN in Australia yet – but Prof. Bulik assures me that plans are underway to get this important therapy for couples here soon!
I also joined Prof. Bulik at the launch of ANGI, the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative, at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. ANGI is a global effort to identify genes that contribute to eating disorders – and ultimately find a cure.
Researchers in the US, Sweden, Australia and Denmark aim to collect clinical information and blood samples from more than 8000 people with and without an eating disorder to better understand these devastating conditions. Australia’s quota is 1200 blood samples. Researchers have four years to gather the samples. Four years? No way!
We want a cure sooner rather than later, right?! So, let’s aim to get our 1200 samples in 12 months. Prof. Bulik and Aussie researcher Prof. Tracey Wade, from Flinders University in Adelaide, agree this will be wonderful. Let’s do it!
If you would like to find out more information or to volunteer in Australia to support the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative, click on the link and follow the prompts, contact the research team on the free call number 1800 257 179 or email: email@example.com