Free pilot service for eating disorders


Wednesday, 08 June, 2022

Free pilot service for eating disorders

Butterfly Foundation, a national charity for people affected by eating disorders and body image concerns, is encouraging clinicians to refer their waitlisted patients to a free single-session intervention service.

‘In the Wings’ — a free, federally funded single-session intervention (SSI) with a trained psychologist — is a new service for people on an Eating Disorder Treatment Plan (EDMP) or a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) who are on a waitlist for eating disorder support.

Butterfly, like many healthcare providers in the sector, has seen an overwhelming demand for services for eating disorders, reporting a 275% increase in contacts to its national Helpline over the last 5 years and an emergence of more complex cases related to the pandemic.

This is a pilot service available until 30 June 22. It includes:

  • a free 60- to 90-minute online session with psychologists trained by Drs Anthea Fursland PhD, FAED and Susan Byrne PhD, DPhil, who developed the SSI for The Centre for Clinical Interventions (CCI) in Western Australia;
  • psychoeducation about the physical and psychosocial consequences of eating disorders;
  • a provisional diagnosis;
  • an understanding of the factors that are maintaining their eating disorder;
  • a range of psychoeducational resources.
     

“Psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs, dietitians and other healthcare professionals working with people with eating disorders are well aware of the significant demand we’re seeing for our services,” said Ranjani Utpala, Butterfly Clinical Services Director.

“There is emerging evidence to suggest that people can experience symptom improvement if they receive support and information while they await treatment. By offering an SSI in the early stages of referral, we can ensure that a) people are on the correct waiting list, b) receive psychoeducation and resources to keep them engaged, and c) provide hope and motivation to make small changes while they wait for an appointment.”

The intervention has been shown to facilitate improvements in eating disorder symptoms, and an increase in the likelihood of people entering treatment. For more information or to refer a client, go to www.butterfly.org.au/inthewings.

Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact:

  • Butterfly National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 (1800 ED HOPE) or support@butterfly.org.au
  • Eating Disorders Victoria Helpline on 1300 550 23
  • For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14
     

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/HNFOTO

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