MORE than 700 Canberrans have signed a petition calling for more services to support people suffering with eating disorders.
Canberra mum Kate Steen – who has anorexia nervosa – started the petition in August after discovering there were no in-patient services for people living with eating disorders in the ACT, and only one public specialist outpatient treatment option.
“I’m both pleased and saddened that this petition garnered so much support – it speaks to the need for improved eating disorders services for Canberrans,” Ms Steen said.
Whilst the ACT government’s residential care facility – likely to be built in Coombs – will offer “some support” to eating disorder patients, it doesn’t address the need for acute treatment options in the ACT, Ms Steen said.
“There are no specialist inpatient services for people living with eating disorders in the ACT and the community-based services are at capacity,” Ms Steen said.
“There aren’t many psychiatrists in the ACT who specialise in eating disorders, and many have closed their books to new patients. I look forward to hearing how the government will support those among us who need more acute care or who seek treatment in the community.”
Labor MLA Dr Marisa Paterson – who will table the petition in the Legislative Assembly this week – said some 17,000 Canberrans currently have an eating disorder.
“Those individuals, and their families, need timely, local and holistic support when they reach out for help,” Dr Paterson said.
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