Our story - Eating Disorders Victoria
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Our story

Home ~ About us ~ Our story

This page explains our vision and mission, what services we provide and the history of Eating Disorders Victoria. 

Our vision and mission

Our mission

The Eating Disorders Foundation of Victoria is the primary source of support, information, community education and advocacy for people with eating disorders and their families in Victoria.

We connect those whose lives are affected by eating disorders with the people, services and hope they need for recovery.

Our vision

A future where the incidence, duration and impacts of all eating disorders are reduced and ultimately eradicated.

Our values

We embrace the following values to underpin our vision and mission:

  • Respect
  • Acceptance
  • Hope

What we do

EDV has a unique approach to providing clinical and non-clinical support services to people experiencing an eating disorder and their families, through a blend of qualified professionals and the lived experience of employees and volunteers.

A fresh strategic approach in 2017 re-positioned EDV’s work to be guided under the following pillars:

Information

To address the lack of understanding around eating disorders, we aim to bridge the knowledge gap and provide referral pathways for both consumers and relevant stakeholders in the health sector.

EDV education

We hold workshops, presentations and courses aimed at the early intervention and support of people with eating disorders for primary and secondary school students, teaching staff, primary care professionals, dietitians, fitness professionals, people in the fashion industry, community organisations and the general public.

Website and social media

The EDV website is often the first stop for individuals experiencing eating disorders and their families. It provides comprehensive, reliable and factual information on eating disorders and has helpful tips and advice for everyone — from the person experiencing an eating disorder to concerned friends and family. EDV’s social media channels provides up-to-date information on events, the latest news from the sector and a platform for people to engage with likeminded individuals.

Body Project Australia

In December 2017, EDV partnered with the US based Body Project Collaborative to create the Body Project Australia (BPA). As the first organisation to bring this internationally accredited body acceptance program to Australia, EDV are uniquely placed to oversee the development of this program and to train new facilitators to deliver the program in a first range of school and community settings.

Navigation

To provide individuals and families with the confidence to navigate the treatment system and connect with appropriate services.

The EDV Hub

Staffed by trained volunteers who have a special interest or lived experience with eating disorders, the EDV Hub is a free, confidential phone, online or drop-in service for anyone who wants to talk to someone about an eating disorder and discuss treatment options in Victoria.

GP education

General Practitioners (GPs) are often the first point of call for people who feel they or a loved one may have an eating disorder. EDV provide in-person and online GP training to ensure GPs recognise eating disorders in patients and provide appropriate treatment pathways.

Support and care

To offer a range of support services for anyone affected by eating disorders, as well as engaging with individuals in recovery and providing ongoing support to maintain their recovery.

Psychologist and dietitian services

EDV offers in-house private psychology and dietitian sessions for people experiencing eating disorders and related issues, as well as for the family and friends who are supporting a loved one.

Peer Mentoring Program

EDV’s Peer Mentor Program (PMP) is a unique and effective way to address the high relapse rate for individuals currently in or transitioning from hospital treatment. The program works by pairing participants with mentors who themselves have experienced and recovered from an eating disorder. The mentoring relationship continues for a period of six months, where mentors meet with participants every two weeks to help them work through the everyday challenges of recovery.

Stories of Recovery

Stories of Recovery is a program where our trained ambassadors, who have recovered from an eating disorder or who have cared for someone who has recovered, will come and share their story with others. The aim of Stories of Recovery is to educate and raise awareness of eating disorders and to offer hope and inspiration that recovery is possible for everyone.

Support groups

EDV Support Groups give people affected by an eating disorder the opportunity to draw upon the support, experience and skills of others facing similar issues. EDV groups allow people to discuss and share their experiences, emotions and challenges, and to develop positive strategies in a safe and supportive environment.

Carer workshops

We know that the support families and friends provide to someone in recovery from an eating disorder is very important. We also know that caring for someone with an eating disorder is a huge job and can be very challenging. Our Collaborative Care Skills Workshop (CCSW) is an evidence-based seven-part workshop aimed at improving carers’ wellbeing, coping strategies and problem solving skills.

History of Eating Disorders Victoria

The Eating Disorders Foundation of Victoria has been providing information, support and hope to people whose lives are affected by an eating disorder since 1983.

Operating initially as the Anorexia Nervosa Fellowship of Victoria, the organisation has evolved in both name and mission, now supporting people affected by all types of eating disorders.

Below is a summary of the growth and changes that have taken place within the organisation and the field of eating disorders in Australia:

1983: Concerned with the high incidence of eating disorders they were seeing, a group of mental health professionals formed the Anorexia Nervosa Fellowship of Victoria as a sub-committee of the Victorian Association of Mental Health (VAMH). They began operating out of the VAMH premises in Camberwell.

1984: Bulimia nervosa is officially recognised as an eating disorder. The sub-committee becomes the Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa Fellowship of Victoria (ABNFV).

1988: Government funding allows the ABNFV to employ its first paid staff member, responsible for coordinating support services.

1989: Volunteers are recruited to assist with the helpline, a phone service that people can call for information relating to eating disorders.

1991: The ABNFV relocates to its own premises in Glen Iris and becomes an autonomous organisation, no longer operating as part of the Victorian Association of Mental Health.

1992: The ABNFV launches Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa Awareness Week.

1995: National Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week (BIEDAW) is held during the first week of September in partnership with the ABNFV’s sister organisations across Australia.

1996: The ABNFV rolls out a teacher training program, Eating Disorders and Body Image Dissatisfaction, holding workshops in metropolitan and country venues. Additional funding is secured, allowing a second staff member to be employed.

1998: We go digital, setting up the ABNFV website so people can access information about eating disorders online.

2000: Recognising that the classification of eating disorders has moved beyond just anorexia and bulimia, the ABNFV changes its name to The Eating Disorders Foundation of Victoria (EDFV).

2004: The Eating Disorders Resource for Secondary Schools is launched, along with a professional development program for school staff in the prevention, identification and early intervention of eating disorders.

2007: The EDFV continues to grow, employing five new staff members over a three-year period. We expand the Helpline services to an online chatroom and message board.

2008: We launch family workshops for people who are caring for someone living with an eating disorder and reveal a new-look website.

2012: To coincide with International No Diet Day, EDV launches our annual awareness and fundraising campaign Feed the Soul at Parliament House with the Minister for Mental Health, The Hon Mary Wooldridge. The campaign aimed to remind people that food and eating is so much more than just what we put in our mouths.

2013: We hire our first in-house psychologist and relocate to new premises in Abbotsford.

2014: A key branch of our services, EDV Education is formalised and launched, offering training programs for schools, people in the fitness industry and specialised GP training.

2017: We deliver two new programs: the Peer Mentoring Program (PMP), the first of its kind in Australia, which pairs a person in recovery from an eating disorder with an EDV employee with lived experience; and Body Project Australia, an early intervention and prevention program for girls aged 14–18, improving body acceptance and preventing the onset of eating disorders.

2018: Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt, along with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, announce that, for the first time ever, individuals with severe eating disorders will have access to a comprehensive and subsidised treatment plan through Medicare. We hire our first in-house dietitian and expand our psychology team, reducing wait lists and giving clients more flexibility with appointments.

2019: Victorian Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley announces funding for another year of EDV’s Peer Mentoring Program.

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