Health conditions

Eating Disorders Program

The Eating Disorders Program is a specialised service for the assessment and treatment of young people with eating disorders and their families. The program provides a continuum of care across outpatient, day patient and inpatient treatment.

The program provides a coordinated approach to helping young people, involving several different health professionals.

How can I get help?

The program accepts referrals for young people up to 16. Referrals are accepted statewide and can be made by:

  • general practitioner
  • school psychologist
  • paediatrician
  • psychiatrist
  • the young person themselves or their parent
  • any other agency the young person may be in contact with.

The referral should be made to the Eating Disorders Program. See contact details below.

If an emergency assessment is required please contact the triage coordinator on 9340 7012 during business hours or the Acute Response Team on 1800 048 636.

What happens after referral?

After a young person is referred to the Eating Disorders Program they are offered an appointment for a thorough assessment or offered alternative services that may be more suitable to their needs.

Following the assessment period, the young person and their family may be offered ongoing treatment with the program or referred to an alternative service that may better suit their individual needs. The treatment program will be a collaborative effort between the young person, their family and the service.

Care coordinator

A care coordinator is allocated to everyone receiving treatment to assist communication between the young person, their family, and the Eating Disorders Program team to make sure the young person receives the best combination of services to meet their needs.

Why are medical appointments important?

Medical assessment and subsequent follow up appointments are essential to ensure the young person is medically safe and receives treatment that is essential to address the consequences of starvation and the effect this has on their lives.

What other treatments does the team provide?

Other treatments that are provided include:

  • nutritional assessment and follow up by a dietitian
  • physiotherapy assessment and treatment
  • body awareness therapy
  • school assessment and support
  • educational assessment (an integral part of treatment).

Treatment may occur in an outpatient, day patient or inpatient setting or combination of these as required.

Hospital admission for eating disorders

The philosophy of the Eating Disorders Program is to treat young people in their home, school and community for the most part.

Admissions to hospital only occur when the young person’s weight or symptoms are severe enough to cause serious medical concern. The aim of the admission is to stabilise the medical and physical symptoms and maintain a safer weight.

Consumer and carer involvement

Current and past patients of the EDP, (as well as their families and carers), are encouraged to get involved with the programs and groups below:

  • F.A.C.E.S. (freedom, advocacy, change, experience, support) – a monthly group meeting of young people who have previously experienced an eating disorder and received treatment from the program.
  • Father’s group – an evening group for the dads of current patients.
  • Reaching out for hope (ROFH) – a group where young people in the program hear experiences from others who have recovered from an eating disorder. (This group is a collaboration with the Women’s Health and Family Services Body Esteem Program.)
  • Carer advisory group/peer mentoring – A carer advisory group and carer peer support programs are in development, with expected implementation in late 2016.

Complaints

As a patient of the Eating Disorders Program you are entitled to have any complaint dealt with objectively.

Young people and their families or guardians may approach a team member with any concerns they have about treatment. The customer liaison services are also available to discuss your concerns.

Contact details

Eating Disorder Program

  • Specialised Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children
  • 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday
  • No weekend or public holiday service
  • Phone: 9340 7012
  • Page: 9340 8222 and ask for the program to be paged
  • Postal address: GPO Box D184 Perth 6840

Acknowledgements
Child and Adolescent Health Service

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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