Latest news | 19 Sep 2017

Butterfly Foundation welcomes funding announcements for eating disorders and launch of the National Agenda


18 September, 2017
 – Butterfly Foundation, Australia’s national organisation for eating disorders, today welcomed the announcement by Federal Minister for Health and Sport, Greg Hunt, of funding and support that recognises the needs of more than 1 million Australians living with an eating disorder in 2017.

Minister Hunt announced funding of $1.7 million to support expansion of the ED HOPE national helpline, allowing ED HOPE’s hours to be increased so it remains open from 8am to midnight seven days a week.  This expansion will happen by February, 2018.

1800 ED HOPE is a first port-of-call for anyone seeking help. It provides evidence-based, free support and counselling regardless of location, circumstances or lived experience.

“The Federal Government’s commitment to expanding our 1800 ED HOPE national helpline for eating disorders is welcomed as a critical component of Australia’s response to eating disorders. We are committed to ensuring there is no divide between those who can afford treatment and those who can’t,” Chief Executive Christine Morgan said.

“The Government has also recognised the urgent need to invest in workforce training for eating disorders across all health and other relevant professions,” Ms Morgan said.

“With only 25 per cent of Australians with an eating disorder currently seeking treatment, this investment in upskilling our workforce to identify and treat eating disorders is essential.

Through the Australian Government funded National Eating Disorders Collaboration project, Butterfly will receive $1.3 million to further this important work.

Today also marks a milestone in Australia’s recognition and response to people living with an eating disorder. The launch of the first National Agenda for Eating Disorders, coupled with the Minister’s restated commitment to a review of Medicare to more comprehensively cover the needs of those with eating disorders constitutes the policy realignment that has been sadly lacking to date.

“Butterfly welcomes the Minister’s commitment to the National Agenda for Eating Disorders (2017-2022), Australia’s first national policy response to the needs of all Australians living with an eating disorder,” Ms Morgan added.

“The Agenda addresses critical areas of health system reform and identifies the priorities needed to provide access to evidence-based multi-disciplinary treatment and dosages to any Australian with or at risk of an eating order.”

The National Agenda for Eating Disorders was developed in consultation with Australia’s eating disorders experts and those with a lived experience of an eating disorder.

Ms Morgan said the Government’s investment in the expansion of 1800 ED HOPE, workforce development, and the launch of Australia’s first National Agenda for Eating Disorders signals the change needed to reform the health system’s ability to provide nationally consistent evidence-based treatment and support.

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Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact Butterfly’s National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 or

For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14

Media Contact: Frank Coletta – 0468 987 295