Latest news | 04 Feb 2020

Mum of young adult with an eating disorder will facilitate new workshop for carers in Hobart


Hobart mum Rebecca knows the importance of caring for the carers of loved ones with an eating disorder. From her own lived experience, she knows all too well that carers can benefit from specialist skills to combat this often complex condition.

Rebecca will co-facilitate a six-week Butterfly Foundation education program for carers starting in Hobart on the 18th February.

“I wish this workshop had been available as a resource when my daughter fell ill.  I am so grateful that Butterfly commits to helping carers and I look forward to sharing my skills and experience with others, no matter where they or their loved ones may be on their journey,” she said.

Over one million Australians live with an eating disorder and caring for someone can be a long-term commitment. Butterfly research shows that eating disorders impact carers too yet often carers are providing care without the correct tools or support. Fortunately, there are ways to help them facilitate their loved one’s recovery while also tending to their own wellbeing.

“As a carer of someone with an eating disorder, it’s important to remain emotionally healthy yourself. There is no question that the more educated you are, the more skills you learn and the more you feel supported, the better equipped you will be to aid your loved one’s recovery,” said Rebecca.

At the time of her daughter’s diagnosis, there were no specialist services for adults with eating disorders in Tasmania and the family had to relocate to Sydney for treatment. For close to a year they attended Butterfly Foundation programs for recovery skills and support.

Rebecca learned about the complex nature of eating disorders, essential skills for helping her daughter’s recovery, and found much-needed community with other carers. With this proactive approach, Rebecca’s daughter is now well recovered and Rebecca continues her involvement with Butterfly by volunteering as a peer support worker.

“I sincerely believe that Butterfly’s programs helped to make our journey significantly less difficult and my child’s prognosis much more successful,” she said.

Rebecca will co-facilitate the upcoming, evidence-based Collaborative Care Skills Workshop, alongside Butterfly’s psychologist Caitlin Walker, who also has lived experience of loved ones with the illness. The workshop will provide meaningful tools and support to family members, friends, colleagues and partners of people experiencing an eating disorder.

Since both Butterfly and the Tasmanian Government recognise the critical need for eating disorder services in Tasmania, the Department of Health is subsidising the program to make it low-cost and accessible to all.

For more information about Rebecca’s carer experience and to arrange an interview with her, please contact Caitlin Walker, Eating Disorders Coordinator, Hobart on 0474 004 443 or email

About the Collaborative Care Skills Workshop

Where: Hobart, Tasmania
Date: Tuesday evenings, starting 18 February 2020 (runs for 6 weeks)

Time: 6pm to 8pm
Fee: Reduced fee of $50/participant or $70/couple for the 6 week program, thanks to the support of the Tasmanian Government.

For more information or to register: Contact Caitlin Walker, Eating Disorders Coordinator, Hobart on 0474 004 443 or email