Butterfly welcomes Government investment and highlights critical need for future funding
Butterfly Foundation, the national organisation for eating disorders and body image issues, acknowledges the Federal Government’s budget support for Wandi Nerida, Butterfly Body Bright and NEDC, while calling for a comprehensive funding package in future.
Sydney, Australia – 23rd May 2023
Following the Australian Government’s 2023-24 budget announcement, Butterfly Foundation has welcomed the extension of support for Wandi Nerida, Australia’s first residential recovery centre for people affected by eating disorders, and a contribution towards Butterfly Body Bright, a whole of school Primary School program promoting healthy attitudes and behaviours towards the body, eating and physical activity in children, so they can thrive at school and in life.
The Budget announcement also includes the extension of funding for the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC), to develop clinical resources, support workforce development, and continue work on the National Eating Disorders Strategy, supported by Butterfly.
Butterfly Foundation’s interim CEO, Anna Cullinane, said “It is heartening to see that there has been a recent focus on eating disorders and body image issues both from the government and within the community and specifically on body image with the appointment of Taryn Brumfitt as Australian of the Year. Butterfly has been providing evidence-informed prevention and early intervention programs for 17 years, including Body Kind Schools, Body Kind Families, Body Kind Clubs, and more, supporting educators, communities and parents to foster positive body image in young people. Butterfly Body Bright (BBB) is already being accessed by more than 400 Australian primary schools across Australia, and includes tools and resources to build and maintain positive body image, prevent body dissatisfaction, and reduce appearance pressures – known risk factors for developing eating disorders. We will need more funding to make sure this program is delivered across Australia.”
The budget also features a welcome focus on primary health care, including incentivising GPs to bulk bill, the inclusion of case conferencing as part of the Eating Disorder Management Plan under Medicare, and investment in the mental health workforce, including additional psychology placements along with the measures to reduce financial distress and the cost of living, noting the association between food insecurity and eating disorder pathology.
However, with more than a million people suffering from an eating disorder in Australia, and only one quarter of these getting treatment or support, Anna highlighted the critical need for funding to go further. “We desperately need a more comprehensive funding package to address the national eating disorder crisis. So far, there has been no commitment to supporting the roll out of the National Eating Disorders Strategy for 2023-2033 conducted by the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC). And there has been a lack of support for existing early intervention and prevention programs, even though we know that treatment is shorter and more effective, the earlier eating disorder thoughts and behaviours are addressed. We look forward to future funding addressing the goals of the strategy and equity in access to care, while listening to community needs.”
Harriet Potter, Communications Manager
0451 837 044
Editor and producers note: Please include the following support line details in all media coverage of this story and refer to the Mindframe Media guidelines for safe reporting on eating disorders. Please include the following helpline message.
Help and Support
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Eating Disorders Victoria Helpline on 1300 550 23
- For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14
Our Helpline is a free, safe, and confidential service providing counselling, support groups, information, and referrals to health professionals around Australia screened for an understanding of eating disorders. All Butterfly National Helpline counsellors are qualified mental health professionals with specialist training in eating disorders and body image.
Butterfly is Australia’s leading not for profit supporting everyone affected by eating and body image issues. You can find out about Butterfly and our prevention services for schools and communities at www.butterfly.org.au or contact our education team – email@example.com