The Turnbull Government will provide $1.5 million for Australia’s first residential eating disorder treatment facility on the Sunshine Coast, helping hundreds of patients each year.
The joint project led by Sunshine-Coast-based endED organisation and the Butterfly Foundation will establish endED Butterfly House.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the facility will be located on the Sunshine Coast because the region has a particularly high rate of people with eating disorders and a substantial need for services.
“This centre will provide specialist care to hundreds of people experiencing eating disorders, through in-patient and best practice treatment programs,” Minister Hunt said.
“It will advance the way eating disorders are diagnosed and treated, providing 24/7 intensive care and support as well as training, education and advocacy at the 12-bed facility.
“It will also include rooms for recreation, family therapy and group therapy.”
Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said eating disorders can be devastating, not only affecting an individual’s relationship with food, but also their body image, confidence, mental health and overall health.
“Many suffer in silence with only 25 per cent of people with eating disorders thought to be diagnosed,” Mr Wallace said.
“The centre will be established in the Mooloolah Valley, which has been specifically chosen for its rural location.
“It will provide a peaceful and home-like environment for the residential centre, which will operate as a not for profit facility.”
Construction is expected to start later this year with endED Butterfly House expected to open in early 2020.
Mr Wallace said the local council and community have been supportive of the establishment of a residential facility, providing considerable assistance in getting the project started.
“The project has so far raised $1.3 million in philanthropic funding and has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donated services and in-kind support,” Mr Wallace said.
“My hope is that endED Butterfly House will become a leading light and model for other residential eating disorder centres across the country.”
Earlier this year the Turnbull Government announced $3.2 million for a new national pilot project to improve the treatment and care of people with eating disorders.
endED Butterfly House will be will build upon and be connected to this pilot program, which is also based on the Sunshine Coast and run by the Butterfly Foundation in partnership with the Central Queensland Wide Bay Sunshine Coast PHN and the Thompson Institute.
Since 2013, the Government has invested more than $11 million in eating disorder treatment and support.