National Research Centre to support Australians with Eating Disorders

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Joint Media Release

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP

Minister for Health and Aged Care

The Hon. David Coleman MP

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

The Morrison Government is investing $13 million to establish a world-leading National Eating Disorder Centre, where Australia’s best researchers will collaborate to transform how eating disorders are diagnosed and treated.

The University of Sydney’s InsideOut Institute, Orygen, Black Dog Institute, and seven other universities and institutes will lead the new Research Centre, which will support research into:

  • transforming eating disorder clinical practice
  • informing future policy
  • developing the capacity and capability of the research workforce
  • supporting the delivery of evidence-based treatment options, and
  • coordinating research activities across the country.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said eating disorders were complex and affected people of all ages across the country.

“At any one time, there are more than a million Australians with an eating disorder, and we want to ensure they can get easy access to the best possible treatment,” Minister Hunt said.

“There is evidence that early intervention into eating disorders can reduce the duration of the illness and improve outcomes for patients. It is possible for many people to make a full recovery if they get the right treatment at the right time.

“Eating disorders are a priority for the Morrison Government and the new research centre will find innovative ways to care for patients, improve prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery rates.”

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said the centre was the result of Australia’s first Australian Eating Disorders Research and Translation Strategy 2021-31.

“Globally, eating disorders have tragically high mortality rates,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.

“By working with researchers, clinicians, consumers and carers – locally and internationally – the new research centre will help to translate research into practice, build the capacity and capability of the research workforce, and ultimately improve the quality of life for all Australians with eating disorders, their families, supporters and carers.”

Funding for a National Eating Disorder Research Centre is part of $26.9 million provided for eating disorder research and support as part of the Morrison Government’s 2021-22 Budget.

The Morrison Government has made mental health a national priority, and since 2018 has delivered unprecedented support for eating disorder research, support and treatment. This includes historic investments such as $110.7 million to provide up to 40 Medicare-subsidised psychological and 20 dietetic therapy sessions, $63 million for establishment of a national network of residential eating disorders treatment centres, $5 million for research through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), and $13.4 million for the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC).

Through the $2.3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan in the 2021-22 Budget, the Morrison Government continues to transform the mental health system to ensure that all Australians can access, high-quality, person-centred care when and where it is needed.

If you or anyone you know is concerned about eating disorder or body image issues, you can contact the Butterfly Foundation’s national eating disorders helpline, ED Hope, on 1800 33 4673 or through www.butterfly.org.au.

Anyone experiencing distress can also seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au).

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