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Australian Health Ministers’ commitment to eating disorders confirmed

4 August, 2017 - Butterfly Foundation, Australia’s leading organisation for eating disorders, was inspired by the collective commitment made by all of Australia’s Health Ministers at yesterday’s COAG Health Minister’s meeting to address the critical need of 1 million Australians with an eating disorder.  

Butterfly Foundation Chairman David Murray AO welcomed the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt’s leadership and commitment to prioritise eating disorders as part of the ratified Fifth Mental Health Plan.

 “It is heartening to hear a Federal Health Minister make such a significant commitment in response to the needs of 1 million Australians. This commitment is the first step in a necessary and long-overdue investment in the health system for eating disorders, one that will provide a 5:1 benefit to cost to Australia. 

“The Minister’s statement ‘It should’ve happened earlier, but it’s happening on our watch now’ will be heard loud and clear by many Australian’s battling these life threatening illnesses. It will give them hope that with leadership and commitment on all fronts, change is coming,” said David Murray AO.

Butterfly Foundation CEO Christine Morgan was reassured by the collective support shown by State and Territory Health Ministers yesterday stating, “Eating disorders treatment and support requires special attention due to the significant underinvestment relative to other mental illness treatment already available.”

“You can’t participate in a national approach to mental health, as agreed in the Fifth Mental Health Plan yesterday, when your starting position isn’t even on the same track as others,” said Ms Morgan.

For the past two years Butterfly has led an Advisory Group to deliver Australia’s first National Agenda for Eating Disorders. This Agenda will inform each State and Territory’s health system in how to align and deliver consistent treatment and support for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorders and OSFED. This baseline will enable each State and Territory’s health system to align and deliver consistent treatment and support.

“Over the coming weeks and months Butterfly will be dedicated to working closely with State and Territory Ministers and sector experts who have critical local knowledge of system gaps and opportunities where investment can be made.”  

“We are committed to ensuring that Australians will be able to seek and receive evidence-based treatment in their community regardless of where they live in Australia,” concluded Ms Morgan.


For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14

Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact Butterfly’s National Support Line on 1800 33 4673 or


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Worried about a friend or someone you care about?

It can be extremely difficult raising the subject of eating disorders with a friend or loved one. To be supportive one needs to learn what to say and what not to say.  


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Concerned parents & carers

Communicating your concern with your child about eating and dieting behaviour can be extremely difficult. Butterfly offers a range of services that can provide you with skills and information related to communicating with your child.  


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Teachers & Professionals Working with Young People

Teachers and those working with young people are often the first to become aware of dis-ordered eating behaviours.  Butterfly Education provides early intervention and prevention skills for professionals working with young people. 

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