Our advocacy - Eating Disorders Victoria
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Our advocacy

Home ~ About us ~ Our advocacy

This page outlines EDV’s position on key issues that affect our community. It includes organisational position statements and key submissions.

Advocacy at EDV

Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) advocates for improved outcomes for Victorians impacted by eating disorders.

Supported by the latest evidence and the lived experience of our community, we advocate for change in policy and practice at government, business and community level. At the heart of our advocacy is the need for all Victorians, with any eating disorder, to access early, equitable and evidence-based care free from discrimination or bias.

Lived Experience and Peer Work

Lived experience and peer work is a human rights and social justice response that empowers those who are generally disempowered by the institutions that are designed to treat them (Mead et al., 2001). This work serves to provide a person centered, trauma informed, and mutual support treatment approach for recovery.

EDV advocates for the integration of lived experience and peer work across the continuum of eating disorder care. EDV has a 40+ year history of providing lived experience community support, and currently provides world-leading and comprehensive peer support programs.

EDV recognises the unique experience and complexity of eating disorder experiences. Through our lived experience and peer workforce, we inspire hope and motivation at every stage of eating disorder help-seeking, treatment, caring roles and recovery.

What are we advocating for?
  1. Ongoing access to lived experience expertise and peer-led programs
  2. Lived experience and peer workforce advancement
Read more in our position paper: Lived Experience and Peer Work

Carers, Family, and Supporters of Young People (<18yrs) with an Eating Disorder

The role of carers of young people <18yrs of age is often intensive and demanding, requiring specific knowledge, skills and resources.

We call for focused investment that supports carers to succeed in their caring role. This includes access to financial and community-based supports, such as psychoeducation, skill-building, in-home help and access to peer workers. We also recognise that everyone’s carer experience and recovery journey will look different, and that individualised and person-centred care is essential.

What are we advocating for?
  1. Increased funding and support for carers engaging in Family Based Treatment (FBT)
  2. Support for alternative treatment pathways
  3. Stepped care approach for young people with eating disorders and their carers 
Read more in our position paper: Carers, Family, and Supporters of Young People (<18yrs) with an Eating Disorder

Carers, Family, and Supporters of Adults (>18) with an Eating Disorder

Carers, family and supporters involved in the care of an adult with an eating disorder often report feeling shut-out by the system when their loved one turns 18.

At EDV, we recognise that caring for or supporting someone with an eating disorder knows no age limits. We call for greater inclusion of carers, family and supporters in the ongoing care of adults with eating disorders, with stronger processes within the system of care for facilitating this involvement. We also call for carers, families and supporters of adults to have access to appropriate skill and capacity building resources, as well as wellbeing support to help reduce carer burden and distress.

What are we advocating for?
  1. Inclusion of carers in treatment and care of individuals (aged ≥18 years old) with an eating disorder
  2. Support for carers to be effective and confident through capacity and skill building
  3. Access to emotional, psychological, and wellbeing supports for carers and supporters
Read more in our position paper: Carers, Family, and Supporters of Adults (>18) with an Eating Disorder

Men, Boys, and Gender Inclusivity in Eating Disorders

Eating disorders in men and boys are prevalent but poorly understood and inadequately addressed. Stigma and shame surrounding eating disorders in men prevent many from seeking help.

EDV recognises and advocates for the importance of awareness raising to address stigma and stereotyping of risk factors and warning signs of eating disorders in men and boys. We also advocate for gender inclusive health workforce training and capacity building to ensure research and health care responses adequately consider and respond to eating disorders in men and boys.

What are we advocating for?
  1. Gender assumptions, stereotypes and biases must be challenged to enable early help-seeking.
  2. Wide-spread recognition of sociocultural factors (e.g., male body ideals) that influence body image across a range of settings (e.g., schools and sporting clubs) is critical for early intervention.
  3. A gender-inclusive lens for training and workforce development (e.g., GPs, public hospital units, male lived experience professionals) is needed.
  4. Men and boys’ experiences need to inform and be incorporated into the development and delivery of treatment & service models.
Read more in our position paper: Men, Boys and Gender Inclusivity in Eating Disorders 

EDV Submissions

We are engaged in key government and independent processes for funding and policy reform relating to eating disorders.

Read our most recent submissions below.

Budget Submissions

Advocacy submissions

Victorian Eating Disorder Strategy

In recognition of the significant and growing issue of eating disorders in Victoria, the Victorian Government has committed to developing a new Victorian Eating Disorder Strategy. The last state-wide strategy was developed in 2014.

The strategy will guide high-quality, safe and evidence-informed practice in promotion, prevention, early intervention and treatment for Victorians with or at risk of developing an eating disorder as well as their families, carers and supporters.

EDV has partnered with the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division in the Victorian Department of Health to support the development of the strategy in 2022 – 2023.

Learn more
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