Latest news | 19 Dec 2014

NSW Mental Health Commission’s Living Well Strategic Plan Addresses Eating Disorders


The Butterfly Foundation welcomes the release of the NSW Mental Health Commission’s Living Well: Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW. The plan sets out actions and future directions for reform of the mental health system in NSW, and includes a direct commitment to improving the treatment and prevention of eating disorders.

Following the plan’s launch on Monday 15 December, the NSW Government has responded with a $115 million investment into a suite of mental health programs and initiatives, to work towards an integrated continuum of care for all Australians who experience mental illness.

“It is great to see that the Government is recognising the opportunity it has to provide NSW with a “game changing” position for mental illness and well-being for the whole community,” says Butterfly Foundation CEO, Christine Morgan. “Through embracing a whole of government approach and shifting the focus of mental health care from hospitals to the community, it will become a lot easier for people who experience mental illness to live and be supported in the community.”

“The Plan has some extremely valuable components to responding for the needs of those in NSW who are living with an eating disorder. A whole of life and community approach to eating disorders and the contributory illnesses and behaviours is a well-founded benchmark for delivering an appropriate and effective state health system response,” says Ms Morgan.

The Plan does not directly govern the operation of services but instead lays out directions and principles for reform which agencies and service providers must find ways to embed in the supports they offer to people in our community.

Noteworthy elements of the Strategy Plan in reference to eating disorders include:

The statewide implementation of the NSW Service Plan for People with Eating Disorders 2013-2018 with priorities including: improved data collection; nurturing and disseminating a strong evidence base; workforce development; and promoting integrated and collaborative approaches.
Prioritising the development of community-based models of care for eating disorders from early intervention, to treatment, to recovery-focused services.
Ensuring that adequate training in the recognition, assessment, referral pathways and treatment of eating disorders is provided to all staff in mental health services.
Advocating for the Commonwealth Government to fund uncapped or a minimum of 40 extra psychology sessions per calendar year for people diagnosed with an eating disorder under existing programs (such as Access to Allied Psychological Services – ATAPS – and Better Access) to enable them to access individual and group sessions.
‘’The Butterfly Foundation is a Living Well Champion, proudly supporting the release of the Plan, and we look forward to its roll-out and implementation over the coming years.”

Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact the Butterfly National Eating Disorders Supportline on 1800 33 4673 (1800 ED HOPE).

Media enquiries: Elaine Banoub, 0412 323 7673 / 02 9212 3888