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Eating disorder carers report a decline in their own
mental health over past 12 months

MEDIA RELEASE
June 13, 2024

The mental health of people caring for someone with an eating disorder has declined over the past 12 months, according to national lived experience carer organisation Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA).

Releasing its annual Carer Experience Survey as part of its annual fundraiser Recharge 4 Recovery, EDFA said the mental well-being of carers had declined in every category since May 2023.

The survey found 35% of the 223 respondents described their own mental health as poor or very poor, compared with 28% at the same time last year, while the number of eating disorder carers who rated their own mental health as very good or good fell to 21% from last year’s 36%.

The remainder described their own mental health as fair.

“EDFA’s 2024 Carer Experience Survey clearly demonstrates the toll that caring for someone with an eating disorder has on the entire family,” EDFA Executive Director Jane Rowan said.

“It highlights how much services like those provided by EDFA are needed to provide support and counselling to carers, who are the front line of the recovery team and critical to the successful recovery of the person with the eating disorder.”

“What’s completely been the lifesaver, would be the Forum, where other carers know what you are going through and have great advice and also stories of hope,” said EDFA carer Jo Foggo.

EDFA’s Recharge 4 Recovery fundraising campaign started on June 1 and focuses on the importance of self-care for those who are supporting a loved one through eating disorder recovery.

The month-long campaign, which has already surpassed half of its $65,000 fundraising goal, provides daily self-care activities that are quick and easy to manage as one of the main challenges facing eating disorder carers is lack of time.

One of the participants in this year’s Recharge 4 Recovery campaign reported, “This week I am feeling physically, mentally and emotionally drained. Recharge 4 Recovery has come at the right time for me, as it is a good reminder for me to stop and take a little bit of time for myself”.

“Our 30 Days of Well-Being Challenge can benefit everyone so we encourage anyone who wants to make their own mental health a priority to take part,” Ms Rowan said, adding it was not too late for individuals or teams to join EDFA’s fundraising campaign.

EDFA has released a video to highlight why self-care is so vital for eating disorder families and why it is so difficult to achieve. Click here for more information on or to donate to EDFA’s Recharge 4 Recovery campaign.

EDFA is the only national organisation providing support, education, advocacy and counselling services solely to carers and families of those living with an eating disorder. Established in 2016, EDFA currently has more than 4,000 members and has helped hundreds of carers and families over the years.

“EDFA has just been amazing. Honestly, my daughter wouldn’t still be alive without them. It’s that simple. I wouldn’t be coping either,” said EDFA member and eating disorder carer Kylie Burton from Brisbane.

The mental health of people caring for someone with an eating disorder has declined over the past 12 months, according to national lived experience carer organisation Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA).

Releasing its annual Carer Experience Survey as part of its annual fundraiser Recharge 4 Recovery, EDFA said the mental well-being of carers had declined in every category since May 2023.

The survey found 35% of the 223 respondents described their own mental health as poor or very poor, compared with 28% at the same time last year, while the number of eating disorder carers who rated their own mental health as very good or good fell to 21% from last year’s 36%.

The remainder described their own mental health as fair.

“EDFA’s 2024 Carer Experience Survey clearly demonstrates the toll that caring for someone with an eating disorder has on the entire family,” EDFA Executive Director Jane Rowan said.

“It highlights how much services like those provided by EDFA are needed to provide support and counselling to carers, who are the front line of the recovery team and critical to the successful recovery of the person with the eating disorder.”

“What’s completely been the lifesaver, would be the Forum, where other carers know what you are going through and have great advice and also stories of hope,” said EDFA carer Jo Foggo.

EDFA’s Recharge 4 Recovery fundraising campaign started on June 1 and focuses on the importance of self-care for those who are supporting a loved one through eating disorder recovery.

The month-long campaign, which has already surpassed half of its $65,000 fundraising goal, provides daily self-care activities that are quick and easy to manage as one of the main challenges facing eating disorder carers is lack of time.

One of the participants in this year’s Recharge 4 Recovery campaign reported, “This week I am feeling physically, mentally and emotionally drained. Recharge 4 Recovery has come at the right time for me, as it is a good reminder for me to stop and take a little bit of time for myself”.

“Our 30 Days of Well-Being Challenge can benefit everyone so we encourage anyone who wants to make their own mental health a priority to take part,” Ms Rowan said, adding it was not too late for individuals or teams to join EDFA’s fundraising campaign.

EDFA has released a video to highlight why self-care is so vital for eating disorder families and why it is so difficult to achieve. Click here for more information on or to donate to EDFA’s Recharge 4 Recovery campaign.

EDFA is the only national organisation providing support, education, advocacy and counselling services solely to carers and families of those living with an eating disorder. Established in 2016, EDFA currently has more than 4,000 members and has helped hundreds of carers and families over the years.

“EDFA has just been amazing. Honestly, my daughter wouldn’t still be alive without them. It’s that simple. I wouldn’t be coping either,” said EDFA member and eating disorder carer Kylie Burton from Brisbane.

For further information, contact EDFA Executive Director Jane Rowan on 0408 780 292 or jane.rowan@edfa.org.au

EDFA is also able to make carers available for interview.