May 18th 2022
Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) will retain COVID-19 funding for another 12 months, enabling the continuation of vital telehealth and online services funded over the pandemic.
Minister for Mental Health, the Hon James Merlino MP, today visited EDV’s head office in Abbotsford to meet staff and volunteers and make a broader funding announcement for the eating disorder sector. $15.5 million will be invested in uplifting acute specialist services at Victorian hospitals and $4.4 million will be shared by EDV and the Centre for Excellence in Eating Disorders (CEED) to continue community-based support. The Minister also announced that the Victorian Government is committed to creating a new Eating Disorder Strategy to help plan for a cohesive service system response to eating disorders within Victoria’s reformed mental health system.
The announcement comes after eating disorders cases accelerated over the pandemic.
“EDV and CEED have done a brilliant job over the last couple of years, but we know that we needed, and wanted, to do more,” Minister Merlino said.
The announcement will mean that EDV will not revert to pre-COVID-19 levels of funding, and instead will be able to maintain the suite of new innovative and effective services that have been rolled out since 2020. This includes Telehealth Counselling, Online Support Groups, Carer Coaching and the SEED program for severe and enduring eating disorders. Existing services such as the EDV Hub, Telehealth Nurse Support and the Peer Mentoring Program will also be able to continue in their current form.
EDV CEO Belinda Caldwell welcomed the funding as a great first step in addressing the growing eating disorder crisis in our state.
“On behalf of those impacted by eating disorders, I would like to thank Minister Merlino and the Victorian government for the investment announced today. Our interactions with the Minister to date has demonstrated that he has a very genuine interest and understanding of the challenges that the last 2.5 years has created for those impacted by eating disorders. We look forward to working with the government on the development of the new Strategy, including securing sustained funding for EDV’s services well beyond the coming 12 months,” Ms Caldwell said.