A 10-year sector roadmap has been released in hopes of supporting people with eating disorders across Australia.
One million Australians experience an eating disorder each year. To combat this, the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC) has developed a Government-funded strategy for better prevention and treatment.
According to Sarah Ball, a social worker and yoga teacher who works with a trauma-sensitive approach to training, there are concerns that are, at times, overlooked or disregarded.
“Talking about eating disorders and body image can be as provocative as it is preventative,” Ms Ball said.
“The biggest hope we have is to increase a critical lens for young people on the messages they’re receiving through media.”
While tackling eating disorders means recognising the complex structural issues, progress has been made throughout the country over the past year.
The announcement of the strategy followed the Albanese Government’s $70 million investment for innovative programs to research and treat mental ill-health and eating disorders.
“The advocacy work that’s been done to get this in the spotlight, even the medicare coverage was increased prior to this, so that there’s long-term treatment available,” Ms Ball said.
“Then now to have this National program developing, it’s wonderful.”
The Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler, said in a statement that the roadmap will guide all governments on practical ways to implement evidence-based system of care for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders.
“Our Government looks forward to working collaboratively with the state and territory governments and the health and community sectors to implement real and meaningful reform to better prevent and treat eating disorders,” Minister Butler said.
The roadmap has urged social media networks to make their platforms safer and to promote inclusive language and images. The roadmap is calling on states and territories to develop their own eating disorder plans.
The National Eating Disorders Strategy can be accessed here, along with other health based resources.