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Online Support to Close Eating Disorder Gap

8 May 2017

Minister for Mental Health, Tanya Davies, has today launched two vital online resources for people in New South Wales living with, or at risk of developing an eating disorder, and their families and carers.

Navigating Your Way to Health and Navigating Their Way to Health both include tips on how to access help throughout the eating disorder treatment process, navigate treatment options, and assist carers and friends with information on how to best support their loved one and understand the recovery journey 
"These new evidence-based resources emphasise the importance of seeking help early, and will enable people experiencing an eating disorder, and their loved ones, to make some sense of what they are going through. 

The key is for this information to work alongside an individual’s treatment plan and navigate a way back to health," Mrs Davies said.

Around four per cent of the Australian population are affected by an eating disorder at any one time, with almost 300,000 of those people living in NSW. 

Navigating Your Way to Health and Navigating Their Way to Health have been developed by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health in collaboration with the Centre for Eating and Dieting Disorders at the Boden Institute, University of Sydney, the Butterfly Foundation and people with lived experience. The initiative has been funded by the NSW Government.

Ms Jaelea Skehan, Director of the Hunter Institute of Mental Health said having access to up-to-date information and support can be critical to recovering from an eating disorder.

"People can and do recover from eating disorders and our hope is that these resources make navigating the experience a little easier.

"We also need to ensure families, carers and friends look after themselves too, a factor that is often overlooked," Ms Skehan said.

The resources complement the NSW Government’s Service Plan for People with Eating Disorders 2013 – 2018, which is being implemented in local health districts across the state to improve and redesign treatment services for people with eating disorders.

To complement the release of Navigating Your Way to Health and Navigating Their Way to Health, a suite of podcasts, videos and postcards will also be developed with additional funding by nib foundation's Community Grants Program to support the dissemination of the resources throughout health services in the Hunter Region. 

The resources are designed for people of any gender, age, culture, or stage of an eating disorder, available at www.himh.org.au/navigatingedhealth & www.cedd.org.au/beginrecovery . 

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