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In-community treatment a first for NSW Young People with Eating Disorders

Australia's leading organisation for treatment of eating disorders, the Butterfly Foundation, has jointly launched with the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, NSW’s first in-community [outside hospital] treatment facility for young people with eating disorders.

The Child and Adolescent Day Program for Eating Disorders offers an in-community multi-disciplinary treatment program, developed and delivered for children and young adults battling eating disorders.

Butterfly Foundation Chairman, David Murray AO, said the Day Program is the culmination of Butterfly’s efforts to bring together government, clinicians, mental health organisations, and benefactors, to rectify the significant lack of capacity and resources for eating disorders.

The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network and the Butterfly Foundation were provided with funding to provide an intensive child and adolescent day program as part of the NSW Service Plan for People with Eating Disorders 2013-2018.

“The Day Program is a collaboration of investment, resources and expertise between Butterfly Foundation, the NSW Government’s Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, and corporate supporter Sportsgirl.”

“The Day Program will help young people struggling with eating disorders, by taking them out of a hospital setting and placing them at the centre of comprehensive in-community treatment at Butterfly House. It is the perfect marriage of NSW’s clinical expertise in eating disorders with Butterfly’s approach to treatment, support and care,” said Mr Murray.

“The Day Program is particularly valuable for young people from regional and rural areas, as it gives them a chance to access best-practice treatment that would otherwise be very difficult to get. Our partnership with Government and corporate supporter Sportsgirl, has allowed us to create a program with funded accommodation for families from regional and rural NSW.”

The Day Program, located at Butterfly House in Crows Nest Sydney, addresses the economic benefit identified by the Deloitte Access Economics Investing in Need report, which showed a 5-dollar benefit for every dollar invested in addressing the under-spend on eating disorders.

“It should be the case that anyone with an eating disorder has immediate access to proper treatment and care, that is person-centred, flexible and available where they live from an expertly trained workforce. We are committed to working with our partners to rectify a serious shortage of capacity across Australia,” said Murray.

Christine Morgan, CEO of the Butterfly Foundation added, “This lived-experience approach gives young people the ability to face their mental illness in an environment that is safe, supportive and nurturing – while getting access to the internationally recognised clinical expertise of the eating disorders treatment team at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network and the treatment and support expertise of the Butterfly Foundation.

The Program already has an 85% success rate with 101 young people having entered the program since it opened before transferring to Butterfly House in Crows Nest.

“The Program is designed to feel like a “home-away-from-home”, with a fundamental focus on the important role of family as the centre of the treatment strategy,” concluded Ms Morgan.

For media interviews with David Murray AO and Christine Morgan, please contact Irina Kamychnikova – 02 9212 3888.

Editor and Producers note: Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact Butterfly’s National Helpline ED HOPE on 1800 33 4673

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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