New home for eating disorder services at Repat

The Morrison and Marshall Liberal Governments today announced a new $7.1 million Statewide Eating Disorders Service (SEDS) at the Repat will provide a state-of-the-art base for statewide services and resources in an accessible location.

Member for Boothby Nicolle Flint said this will be the first service in Australia bringing together national and state-based services via a research led, multi-disciplinary team in partnership with philanthropic support from Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation.

“This world class, integrated community eating disorder service will provide non-residential and residential day support for people living with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other specific eating disorders,” Ms Flint said.

“Right now, more than one million people in Australia are experiencing an eating disorder, which sadly have the highest mortality rate out of any mental illness. Females make up 64 per cent of those people and children as young as seven are being referred to the services in South Australia.

“By having a purpose-built centre, it will enable patients, clinicians and researchers to work side by side under one roof, providing South Australians with the best possible evidence-based treatment and therapies whilst conducting ground-breaking research.”

South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said a new purpose-built centre will allow opportunities that have not been possible in SEDS’ current building at Brighton, which is undersized and outdated.

“Delivering eating disorders treatment in the right environment is an important component of success,” Minister Wade said.

“Engagement in treatment is a precursor to recovery and the opportunity to receive this in a community-based setting, rather than a medical or hospital setting, is fundamental to securing such engagement from patients.

“The new unit will also include step-down residential day-care services, supporting patients and their families through the course of treatment and as the patient reintegrates into the community – which will be of particular value to country residents.”

The facility will be a tri-partite approach involving SA Health, Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation, as well as a Flinders University research component.

The Federal Government has committed $5 million to the facility and Breakthrough has fundraised for a majority of the remaining $2.1 million, including receiving a generous $500,000 donation from the Fay Fuller Foundation.

Breakthrough Executive Director John Mannion has been advocating for the new SEDS building for more than five years, giving voice to the many thousands of South Australians and their families affected by eating disorders.

“Not only will this centre provide the best evidenced-based treatment, but the inclusion of a new dedicated research space will allow researchers to tackle eating disorders from every angle and really make strides in stopping this disease, which has for too long been so devastating for sufferers and their families,” Mr Mannion said.

“It is going to take a truly collective effort to achieve the breakthroughs we so desperately need to create a life free from eating disorders and all mental illness, and we applaud both tiers of government for uniting with us to help make this possible.”

Minister Wade has continued his discussions with veterans’ groups and ex-service personnel and reiterated the Government’s determination to ensure that the Repat Chapel, Remembrance Gardens, Museum and SPF Hall are protected and preserved as community assets for future generations.

Discussions include opportunities to return veterans’ health and mental health services to the site – both within the partnership zone and elsewhere on the site.

“I have had many conversations and meetings with our veterans’ community and understand their needs and wishes for this site,” Minister Wade said.

“Nicolle Flint has been a tireless advocate for veterans and for the return of services to the Repat site that meet the needs of the veterans’ community. She was instrumental in securing a $5 million Federal Government investment for the Veterans Wellbeing Centre.”

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