NWMH leading the way in eating disorders

Eating disorders (EDs) are serious and potentially life threatening mental illnesses. Evidence shows that people experiencing EDs are most likely to recover when receiving community support.

The NWMH Eating Disorders Initiative commenced in 2018, after identifying that there was scope to enhance the community mental health response for people with EDs.

The multifaceted initiative is the first of its kind in Victoria. CEED partnered with NWMH to support the ground breaking work on strengthening the system of care. The project objectives included establishing seven Eating Disorder Clinician (EDC) roles, a workforce development strategy and changes to intake processes.

The newly created EDC roles within each service was key to the initiative. These EDC roles are crucial in capacity building the entire AMHS workforce, improving service systems and the provision of treatment.

In addition, a range of targeted workforce development activities have been delivered. This has included a seminar on the medical management of EDs in the community, which was attended by 70 NWMH psychiatrists.

Another highly valued training opportunity was a CEED hosted workshop on Specialist Supportive Clinical Management (SSCM), facilitated byinternational presenters Dr Jenny Jordan and Dr Virginia McIntosh. SSCM has been endorsed as the clinical model for treatment of eating disorders in the community setting.

The NWMH eating disorders initiative is ongoing, with a focus on extending workforce development, building communities of practice, and operationalising supporting policies.