The Albanese Government is providing $70 million in grants for innovative programs to research and treat mental ill-health and eating disorders, improve services, educate health professionals and support patients, their families and carer.
Programs to address gaps identified by people with lived experience of eating disorders and other experts will share in $20 million of funding.
The University of Sydney’s InsideOut Institute’s award-winning eClinic and Digital GP Hub will each receive $4 million. The eClinic will make effective, evidence-based care and treatment available digitally to people with an eating disorder, regardless of where they live.
As the first point of health system contact, GPs are critical to providing meaningful change to early identification and intervention rates. However, people with a lived experience have consistently reported a lack of knowledge in primary care. The Digital GP Hub will work to address this knowledge gap, delivering screening tools, resources and practice supports to GPs.
The Right Care Right Place program will make it easier for people to navigate their way through the health system. $3.9 million will be provided to the National Eating Disorders Collaboration to trial Care Coordinators in four Primary Health Network (PHN) regions.
The Butterfly Foundation will receive $2.8 million to implement a recovery support program for patients who have been discharged from a hospital or residential centre, delivered virtually and available nationally.
Eating Disorders Queensland, Eating Disorders Families Australia and headspace will also receive funding to increase the supports for care in the community, supports for carers and training for headspace clinicians.
In response to the recent decline in the mental health of children and the rise in self-harm and eating disorders, the Government will provide $50 million for the Medical Research Future Fund’s Childhood Mental Health Research Plan.
An expert advisory panel is being established to develop the plan by August 2023, which will recommend how to best direct the funding towards research projects that help:
- determine the factors that affect the mental health and wellbeing of children
- find ways to improve access to evidence-based treatments and their delivery
- address inequities in childhood mental health and psychological distress outcomes
- inform implementation of current and future policies and programs in child mental health.
The first competitive grant opportunity under the Plan will open from September 2023.
A full list of projects funded is below.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“A million Australians are impacted by eating disorders and many report a lack of awareness in a health system that is difficult to navigate and offers inconsistent care.
“We have seen a worrying and significant deterioration in the mental health of children and a rise in self-harm and eating disorders.
“This funding will back innovative ways to support people with eating disorders and mental ill-health and deliver better outcomes.”
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister McBride:
“Eating disorders are complex and among the most lethal mental health conditions.
“We cannot stand by while the mental health of Australian children is declining.
“These programs are directing help to where it is needed and building a national approach to driving a better tomorrow for people with eating disorders and their loved ones.”
- The University of Sydney (InsideOut Institute): eClinic - $4,000,000
- National Eating Disorders Collaboration: Right Care Right Place - $3,926,000
- headspace National: Embedding eating disorder treatment in headspace centres - $1,530,000
- The University of Sydney (InsideOut Institute): Digital GP Hub - $4,000,000
- Butterfly Foundation: Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (v-IOP) - $2,844,000
- Eating Disorders Families Australia: Fill the Gap - $1,700,000
- Eating Disorders QLD: Brief Intervention/Therapy for Eating Disorders (bITE) - $2,000,000
- Medical Research Future Fund: Childhood Mental Health Research Plan* - $50,000,000
* Grants from the MRFF will be awarded through competitive grant opportunities with funding from 2024-25 onwards.