I am pleased to hear the great news that the Australian federal government has taken additional steps to recognise the seriousness of eating disorders.
In my practice I see the effects of these debilitating conditions in both men and women, so it gives me confidence that recognition for these issues is becoming more widespread.
The federal government through Medicare already subsidises treatments but under this new initiative, which will see a $110 million investment over four years, Australians with severe eating disorders will have access to a much more comprehensive treatment plan under Medicare which will include up to 60 appointments with psychologists and dietitians.
What’s equally good news is that this additional funding will not be affected by the federal election as it is a Medicare initiative. Ref
The Health Minister Greg Hunt who made the announcement over the weekend said that the renewed effort for these types of disorders was one of the governments highest priorities. Under the new model, people with serious psychiatric conditions including anorexia and bulimia will be able to access up to 40 subsidised psychological services and 20 dietetic services each year starting from November 2019.
Statistics published by The Butterfly Foundation’s National Eating Disorders Collaboration are alarming. (Ref)
Eating disorders and disordered eating together are estimated to affect over 16% of the Australian population. Binge eating disorders and other specified feeding or eating disorders are the most common eating disorders, affecting approximately 6% and 5%, respectively.
Too many Australians are dying as a result of eating disorders and the mortality rate is significantly higher than that of the average population and amongst the highest for a psychiatric illness. According to recent estimates, mortality is 5 times higher in individuals with anorexia nervosa than the general population, when matched for age and sex.
These alarming statistics are some of the reasons my clinic specialises in treating eating disorders of this type.
My way of working takes a mind body psychology approach that steps away from traditional methodologies. I help clients work on their inner world – their self talk, their internal challenges as well as their external world – slowing down to eat, eating rhythms, so that they can catalyse change in their very biology. Using this integrated approach allows for long lasting shifts in mindset and psychology.