Eating Disorders Queensland (EDQ), located in South Brisbane, has recently received an additional $2.4 million in funding from the state government to further their mission of helping people with eating disorders. The clinic, which is adorned with vibrant artwork from professionals and patients, will use the funds to expand and improve their services.
The funding comes as part of the government’s broader investment of almost $40 million to address the increased demand for eating disorder treatment during the pandemic. This announcement aligns with Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness and support for the estimated one million Australians living with an eating disorder.
The additional funds will allow for the hiring of 34 more staff across Queensland, with the goal of reducing wait times for treatment. Belinda Chelius, the chief executive of EDQ, highlighted the urgent need for improved access to care, as there is currently a six to seven month waitlist for their clinical services. The clinic experienced a 77% increase in presentations during COVID-19, further emphasizing the importance of this funding.
Eating disorders are complex conditions with severe physical, emotional, and social consequences. The funding will enable EDQ to provide more individual and carer lived-experience support, particularly in regional and remote areas. The goal is to remove the stigma surrounding eating disorders and ensure that individuals have the necessary support, treatment, and care closer to home.
In addition to the funding, EDQ has released an “Eating Disorder Passport” as part of Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This tool allows patients to provide important information to health practitioners to guide their treatment. The clinic hopes that this small intervention will have a ripple effect, encouraging clinicians to conduct more thorough assessments and consider the unique needs and preferences of each individual.
Overall, the investment in eating disorder services aims to expand telehealth services, provide psychological, family, and behavioral therapies, and offer nutritional education and dietetics. The commitment to increasing access to specialized treatment demonstrates a recognition of eating disorders as a significant public health concern and a commitment to supporting those living with these conditions across Queensland.