New resource for health professionals working with people with eating disorders

30 November 2016

Advice from more than 100 Australians who have experienced an eating disorder on what aided their recovery has been captured in a new resource for clinicians.

Insights in Recovery: A consumer-informed guide for health practitioners working with people with eating disorders was developed by the Butterfly Foundation with funding from the Mental Health Commission of NSW and launched this month.

The resource provides guidance for health professionals of all kinds on how to adopt a person-centred, recovery-orientated approach to working with people with anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders.

It was developed by researchers based on feedback they gathered from people with lived experience of eating disorders on what helped and hindered their recovery.

“People living with eating disorders have often reported that their illness is received with impatience, lack of understanding and even fear,” said NSW Mental Health Commissioner John Feneley.

“Clinicians too often express a lack of confidence in their own knowledge and training in how to assist people with eating disorders.

“This resource provides clinicians a rich window into what recovery means for people living with eating disorders, and how they can help individuals in that journey.”

The recommendations in the Guide include:

  • Establish a shared understanding of recovery 
  • Help individuals talk about their eating disorder
  • Help individuals feel safe
  • Use mindful language
  • Help individuals find their identity beyond the eating disorder
  • Integrate choice into treatment decisions
  • Encourage the use of healthy supports in everyday life
  • Listen and incorporate the perspectives of those with lived experience 

Mr Feneley launched the resource on Tuesday 8 November in front of 100 people gathered at Butterfly House in Sydney, including NSW Minister for Health, the Hon. Jillian Skinner and NSW Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Pru Goward. The crowd was also gathered to mark the official opening of the first Child & Adolescent Day Program for Eating Disorders in NSW at Butterfly House, which is a collaboration between Sydney Children’s Hospital Network and the Butterfly Foundation.

Download Insights in Recovery: A consumer-informed guide for health practitioners working with people with eating disorders.

For more, read the media release.

Last updated: 5 April 2017

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