The 2021 calendar year has continued to be very challenging for parents, siblings and carers, as well as our loved ones living with an eating disorder. There have also been many new families who join EDFA who are supporting a loved one with an eating disorder during this challenging time.
We have certainly continued to live our Mission in 2021, which is “To facilitate and advocate for families and carers to ensure they are supported, equipped and acknowledged as a central part of optimising the recovery process for the person with the eating disorder.”
We know the festive season can be very challenging for people with eating disorders and their families, so we wish you peace, calm and happiness.
Our Chairperson, David Garvey, shares a special thank you, and Christmas message here
EDFA’s Ambassador, Hugh van Cuylenberg, offers hope to families caring for a loved one with an eating disorder in his video message.
News and Collaborations
EDFA launched a Holiday Appeal, inviting members to make a donation this festive season so we can continue to support and advocate on behalf of families and carers of people living with an eating disorder.
In the wake of the pandemic and the devastating impact on the mental health of our children, adolescents and young adults, EDFA has seen a substantial rise in demand from families and carers seeking support, information and education from others with lived experience, with whom they can confide and connect.
As a volunteer-run, not for profit organisation, we are dependent on donations and grants to operate 70 plus support sessions per year, which include;
- strive Carer Support Groups
- strive online support community
- parent and carer EDucation
- training program for clinicians and advocacy, promoting a treatment modality known as ‘Temperament Based Therapy with Supports (TBT-S)’
We look forward to continuing to support you and your family.
To connect with a local service provider in your area, contact the Carer Gateway national Helpline on 1800 422 737 or visit their website to find out more.
Complimentary TBT-S Webinar
EDFA is excited to offer clinicians, services, parents and carers the opportunity to watch a new webinar on transformative new eating disorder treatment TBT-S (Temperament Based Therapy with Supports).
Key speakers included world-renowned eating disorder expert and speaker Dr Laura Hill, Carmel Fleming of Queensland Eating Disorder Service, Michelle Roberton of The Centre of Excellence in Eating Disorders, Tamara Worotniuk of Epworth Hospital and Jasmin Watson of Geelong Clinic.
This incredible panel discusses how to apply TBT-S in an Australian setting. Watch the complimentary TBT-S webinar.
Research Wrap Up
The EDFA Research Committee is excited to be launching a new project in early 2022 to gain a better understanding of people’s experiences with the strive Carer Support Groups. We hope that by evaluating the program and obtaining feedback on people’s personal experience of and satisfaction with the groups, that we will be able to continue improving the program. We also hope that the research findings will help us identify areas that carers require further support. Keep an eye out for more info in early 2022!
strive Carer Support Group Update
As we wrap up the year it’s wonderful to reflect on how the strive Carer Support program has expanded with the addition of both online state-based and eating disorder specific groups in 2021. We encourage anyone who has not yet come along to a support group to “give it a go” because connecting with others who understand what you’re going through can be enormously helpful. For information on all the different support groups and the monthly calendar of events, please visit the EDFA website.
Membership of the strive Australia Facebook group has also grown significantly this year and every month there are more carers sharing personal experiences, helpful information, providing support and importantly hope and encouragement to others. The Facebook page is a closed private group, solely for those caring for a loved one with an eating disorder. If you haven’t already, we’d love you to join the group, and there is no pressure to comment or post if you’re not comfortable to do so. Just being part of the carer community and knowing others are experiencing similar things, can make each day just that little bit easier and helps you know that you’re not alone.
A carer’s perspective: “I will be forever grateful for the support and guidance of lived experience in the strive support groups and the incredible knowledge and care from the EDFA team.”
Our online support groups and Facebook group would not be possible without the amazing commitment and support from our volunteer moderators and facilitators. If you have lived experience of caring for a loved one with an eating disorder and feel you’d like to give back by supporting others, please head to the volunteer section on the EDFA website as we’re always looking to grow our team.
Our carer community has such an amazing wealth of knowledge and we’re always looking for additional ways to share information so everyone can benefit. If you have any ideas or come across information or references you think might help others, please contact us. In the new year we’re also planning to share the monthly topic information we discuss at our support groups, via the website, so those who weren’t able to attend can still access the tips and information.
We look forward to seeing you in the new year and please spread the word to others who may also benefit from being part of the strive Carer Support program.
We have been privileged to provide our caregiver members with a rich quarter of learnings from our twice-monthly national online EDucational webinars.
Our information sessions featured Helen Dean, Accredited Practising Dietitian, on the importance of having a dietitian on the eating disorder care team. We heard from Millie Thomas, Recovery Coach, who spoke about her own personal story of living with Anorexia Nervosa for 15 years and how this life-changing journey has translated into the important work she now does in the eating disorder space and how it can benefit your own loved ones.
We were joined by Dr Adele Lafrance, US clinical psychologist, research scientist, author, and co-developer of emotion-focused treatment modalities, who gave carers and clinicians insight into developing treatments and, importantly, great hope for the future in eating disorder treatment.
Dr June Alexander, lived experience author, mentor, founder of The Diary Healer and international eating disorder advocate, talked about her 6 decade-long journey, personal insights, and her work here and internationally in the eating disorder community. Her message was one of hope and healing for all caregivers supporting loved ones, including those with long-term eating disorders.
Our Ambassador, Hugh van Cuylenburg, co-founder and presenter of The Resilience Project, author and host of The Imperfects podcast spoke about his story growing up alongside his sister with an eating disorder, as well as sharing helpful strategies for happiness and resilience to support the mental health and wellbeing of parents and carers.
EDucation Webinars in 2022
We have been working hard to continue to bring valuable information and education to caregivers, with a great line-up of webinars planned for the first quarter of 2022, including:
- Tapping Assisting Eating Disorder Therapy with Dr Peta Stapleton (Thursday, 3rd February).
- Trauma Treatment for Eating Disorders with Dr Suzy Redston (Thursday, 17th February).
- Recovery with Tabitha Farrar, UK eating disorder recovery coach, author, peer mentor, blogger and podcast host (Thursday, 3rd March).
- Encouraging Positive Body Image with Merissa Forsyth, Pretty Foundation (Thursday, 17th March).
- Brain Stimulation for Eating Disorders by UK Professor Ulrike Schmidt (Thursday, 7th April).
- An Overview of Eating Disorder Treatments with Carmel Fleming of the Queensland Eating Disorder Service (Thursday, 21st April).
Full details of EDFA’s upcoming education webinars can be found in our calendar of events via this link.
Don’t forget that as an EDFA member you have access to a library of over 30 past webinar recordings on various eating disorder topics within the Member Resources area of the website.
While EDFA remains agnostic regarding treatment methods and treatment models, it has recognised that the work of Dr Walter Kaye leading the team of Dr Laura Hill, Dr Christina Wierenga and Dr Stephanie Knatz-Peck in USA, has been significant in the research and development of advances in treatment of eating disorders to include the neurobiology of eating disorders, the advances in brain imagery, and genetic sciences. The resulting treatment method is now known as Temperament Based Therapy with Supports (TBT-S). TBT-S includes ‘supports’, parents, family and other people important to the life of the person, as essential members of the care and treatment team.
The EDFA TBT-S committee’s aim is to facilitate and encourage the availability in Australia of the TBT-S treatment methodology for families and people with eating disorders, by undertaking initiatives in implementation, training, research and advocacy of TBT-S in Australia.
A webinar called ‘Adapting TBT-S to the Australian Setting’ was held recently and due to its success and valuable content, we have made the webinar freely available to everyone, including EDFA members. You can watch it here.
We are looking forward to introducing the next webinar in the TBT-S series, about children and adolescents (with FBT as the backbone), which is planned for the first quarter of 2022. Keep an eye out for upcoming TBT-S events!
Have a safe, happy and peaceful festive season.
The EDFA team
Become a member of EDFA for $25 per year (Australian Carers Only)
EDFA is a proud not for profit, predominantly volunteer-run organisation.
We invite you to be part of a revolutionary peer support group making positive changes in the Eating Disorder space. Strength in numbers means we are able to affect change and have the collective voice of the carers recognised.
We provide opportunities to connect with other parents and carers who share your experiences…helping you to feel less alone and isolated.
Yearly membership is just $25.
Membership gives access to:
– Access to a range of resources in our Member Only section of the website including Educational Recordings, Member Recommended Clinicians and Services, and more.
– Over 70 support groups and education sessions per year. including;
– monthly state-based strive Carer Support Groups
– twice monthly education sessions
– monthly sibling support group
– monthly national strive ARFID Carer Support Group
– discounts to eating disorder events and conferences.
– daily online support through our private strive Australia Facebook Group and the opportunity to connect, share, learn and ask questions is another benefit of being part of our EDFA community.
Your membership helps EDFA with ongoing costs of running a not-for-profit organisation, and importantly, shows Government that families value, need and believe in this type of lived-experience support. Strength in numbers helps EDFA lobby as the collective voice of carers for better services, treatments, access to expert clinicians and specialised ED units, to help our loved ones in their recovery journey and to acknowledge the impact of an eating disorder diagnosis on the entire family unit.