This is a media release from Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV). For best practice advice for reporting or communicating about eating disorders, please refer to the Mindframe Media Guidelines on eating disorders.
Strengthening support for eating disorder carers in the Grampians community
12 December 2023
Grampians Health and Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) are the recipients of a joint grant from the Connecting Carers in their Community Grants Program, generously provided by Carers Victoria. The ‘Connecting Carers in their Community’ grants program is supported by the Victorian Government.
The grant aims to reduce isolation, enhance overall health and wellbeing, and improve connections between carers and their local community. Together, Grampians Health and EDV will foster and embed a community-based approach for supporting eating disorder carers in the Grampians region.
It is estimated, based on conservative figures that around 300,000 Victorians per year are affected by eating disorders. Research indicates that carers commonly experience feelings of loneliness, isolation, guilt, and burnout as well as financial strain and a loss of income.
The project supports carers to have access to dedicated appointments and group sessions led by EDV Carer Coaches. The upcoming group sessions will be held online, allowing access across the Grampians region.
Throughout the project, the EDV team will be training a Grampians-based Carer Consultant, who will continue to provide this support in the region when the project concludes. Carer Coaches have lived experience of supporting their young person through to recovery from an eating disorder. The Carer Coaches come equipped with a wealth of collective experience gained from their peer support work with other families.
Vicki Hams is a Carer Coach at EDV who is actively engaged in advocating for eating disorder awareness through education and provides general support to families who find themselves navigating through the eating disorder landscape.
Vicki has supported both her daughter and sister through to recovery from an eating disorder and believes that “finding direct peer to peer support from those that have walked the path before you and survived and who can turn your tepid feeling of hope to a red-hot belief in full recovery speaks to the power of such support. My hope is that everyone finds this support in their journey.”
Susie Hansen, Director Telehealth Services, EDV said “We are thrilled to be partnering with the team at Grampians Health on this project. Carers of people with eating disorders often feel alone and overwhelmed, and these feelings can be exacerbated in regional areas where access to services is more limited. We hope that through this project, carers and families in the Grampians area will become more confident, reducing carer burnout and distress, and ultimately accelerating their loved one’s recovery from an eating disorder.”
Earlier this year, Grampians Health opened a new dedicated eating disorder service for the Grampians region providing a holistic approach in delivering physical and psychological care at the same time, supporting all age groups.
Mark Thornett, Director Mental Health and Wellbeing Service, Community & Aged Care, Grampians Health said “We are excited to collaborate with Eating Disorders Victoria on this important project. This project will bring together the collective wellbeing of both the person with the eating disorder and their carer, providing the best possible chance of long-term recovery.”
If you care for a loved one with an eating disorder and would like to learn more about this new project or other supports for carers, reach out to Eating Disorders Victoria on 1300 550 236 or visit www.eatingdisorders.org.au
If you would like to contact the Grampians Health Eating Disorder Clinic, please call the hospital switchboard on 03 5320 4000. If you are concerned for someone’s mental wellbeing, please call Mental Health Services on 1300 661 323.
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Eating Disorders Victoria
[email protected] 0431 717 177