Talk to someone now. Call our National Helpline on 1800 33 4673. You can also chat online or email

Talk to someone now. Call our National Helpline on 1800 33 4673. You can also chat online or email

MAYDAYS for eating disorders is Butterfly’s annual awareness, fundraising and advocacy campaign which takes place nationally in May. Each year, our campaign draws on the experiences of Australians to highlight key concerns relating to eating disorders and calls for change.

This year, Butterfly is #PushingPastPostcodes to ensure that all Australians have equal access to eating disorder treatment and support services. This MAYDAYS we’re raising the alarm for regional, remote and very remote Australia and exploring the barriers that people living in these areas face in terms of accessing the eating disorder healthcare and support services they so desperately need.


As we all currently experience COVID-19 isolation, we can relate to feelings of frustration and distress. For many living in regional and remote areas, the experience of isolation from services and treatment is already a daily reality, even prior to COVID-19. Unfortunately, it is also a reality that will likely continue even after this pandemic has passed.

However, Butterfly are committed to changing this reality. Our mission is for all Australians to have access to eating disorder services and treatment regardless of their postcode. Now more than ever, we need your help to implement innovative ways to bridge the access gap in regional and remote areas. We need your support to establish community-based intermediate levels of care and to better coordinate mental healthcare with physical healthcare and nutritional support, which is critical to ensuring people do not fall through the gaps in the continuum of care. Butterfly will also investigate options for virtual support in rural and remote areas, such as dedicated eating disorder on-line forums and on-line meal support for those struggling to access the care they need.

We would like to thank all those who took part in our MAYDAYS 2020 survey – it is your shared experiences and realities that have helped us to understand the significant barriers to accessing eating disorder healthcare and support services in regional and remote Australia.

The alarming survey results clearly signify that distance and location play a large role in the healthcare outcomes for those living outside of metro cities who are currently experiencing or have experienced an eating disorder. The results also highlight the challenging experiences faced by carers living in regional or remote Australia, who are forced to go above and beyond to ensure their loved ones get the care they deserve.

Join us this MAYDAYS in our pursuit of #PushingPastPostcodes and let’s break down the barriers for those living in regional and remote locations


MAYDAYS Barriers to Access

Meet Jeanette, a carer for her two daughters with eating disorders; Tarsh, a nurse and mother of six, who has experienced her own eating disorder; Haylee, a regional psychiatric nurse working with eating disorder clients; and Tania, a regional GP. Here they discuss four key barriers to accessing vital treatment and support in remote and regional Australia.

The lack of access to treatment and support services

The impact of COVID-19 on regional and remote support

Stigma surrounding eating disorders

The crippling cost of eating disorders

Last month, in the lead up to MAYDAYS, Butterfly conducted a survey to investigate the barriers people experience accessing eating disorder healthcare and support.

With more than 550 Australians surveyed, the results are alarming and significantly highlight the need for better access to support for those living in regional and remote Australia.

Of people surveyed:

  • 99% believe that there needs to be more awareness around what services are available in regional and remote places for people with eating disorders
  • 94% of people in regional and remote areas currently living with an eating disorder believe that where they live is an obstacle for accessing help
  • 63% of those in regional and remote areas reported that COVID-19 had impacted their ability to seek treatment or support
  • 80% of people currently experiencing an eating disorder said they needed extra support during COVID-19
  • 82% of reported heightened eating disorder thoughts during COVID-19 (for themselves or the person they care for)
  • 79% of people currently living with an eating disorder agreed the cost of services was an obstacle to accessing help
  • 80% of people living in regional or remote areas reported incurring significant costs to receive treatment for their eating disorder, or that of their loved one.
  • 92% reported that healthcare workers in regional and remote areas need more training and education on eating disorder treatment
  • 69% of those in regional and remote areas had faced stigma from those in the healthcare system as a result of the eating disorder
  • 68% of those living in regional and remote areas agreed that their experience could have been improved if the health professional had a greater knowledge of eating disorders
  • 43% of people in regional and remote areas strongly agreed that a greater level of empathy from health care workers was required

Experiencing an eating disorder has its own set of challenges and where you live shouldn’t be one of them.

Join us this MAYDAYS in #PushingPastPostcodes to break down the geographical barriers to accessing eating disorder treatment and support services.

There are several ways you can help Butterfly in #PushingPastPostcodes to ensure improved access to eating disorder treatment and support services.

DONATE: Butterfly is a national touchpoint for anyone experiencing an eating disorder. Help us continue to reach those in need and advocate for improved access and cost to services. Consider making a one off donation, a regular giving donation or even a workplace/matched giving donation.

#DonateYourPostcode: All donations are welcome. This MAYDAYS we are asking you to donate your postcode.

  1. #DonateYourPostcode and take Mandurah, WA as an example…
  2. Mandurah’s Postcode is 6210…
  3. So if you happen to live in Mandurah you could donate $21.60, $62.10, $621.00
  4. or even $6,210 (then why not double your donation…if you’re feeling generous!)
  5. Whatever the number, every little bit counts in #PushingPastPostcodes

VIRTUAL FUNDRAISING: Take on a challenge this May or simply support our campaign by promoting it far and wide. You can create a personalised online fundraising supporter page via Butterfly’s MAYDAYS campaign page HERE. Your page can include photos, videos, information about your virtual event and our campaign. Your page can be easily shared with family and friends via social media and email so that they can leave you messages of support and along with their donation to Butterfly.

SHARE YOUR STORY: If you have been touched by this campaign, and wish to share your story, please visit our Share Your Story page for more information.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Why not support us throughout the months of May and June by adding Butterfly’s MAYDAYS #PushingPastPostcodes profile picture overlay?

SPREAD THE WORD: Has access to eating disorder healthcare or support services been a challenge for you or a loved one? Change your Facebook profile photo to include our MAYDAYS #PushingPastPostcodes overlay and join the conversation on social media by using the hashtags #PushingPastPostCodes and #MAYDAYS2020

How your donation can help:

  • $5 could provide art supplies for an eating disorder sufferer to use while participating in an online creative therapy program
  • $20 could enable parents of someone with an eating disorder to attend one of Butterfly’s online support groups
  • $50 could assist our National Helpline counsellors develop resources to support individual and family recovery
  • $50 could help us run an online support group for sufferers and carers in under-serviced areas
  • $100 could support more schools with the facilitation of our first digital body image program for males
  • $100 could fund an online support group for carers assisting a loved one experiencing an eating disorder
  • $300 could enable someone experiencing an eating disorder and their support person to attend a six week online recovery program
  • $500 could fund a Butterfly sessional presenter to educate and empower teachers, students and parents within schools on prevention and early identification
  • $500 could provide a course of online counselling sessions for someone suffering from an eating disorder
  • $1,000 could enable Butterfly to train and educate rural or remote communities to deliver Butterfly’s recovery and carer support programs online
  • $1,000 could enable a rural or remote community to have online access to Butterfly’s recovery and carer support programs
  • $1,000 could provide five online counselling sessions for a family of an eating disorder sufferer
  • $5,000 could train health workers and doctors within a local community in the identification and treatment of people with eating disorders


If you are interested in finding out more about our MAYDAYS for eating disorders #PushingPastPostcodes campaign, please connect with the following people:

Media Enquiries

Fundraising and Events

Share Your Story

Butterfly Foundation National Helpline
1800 33 4673