Welcome to EDFA’s wrap up for the months of June and July!
Hello, my name is David Garvey and I am the Chairperson of EDFA. I thoroughly enjoy being part of the EDFA team and playing my small part in supporting our members and carers around Australia.
Given 30 June is the end of EDFA’s financial year and we will over the coming months finalise our Annual Report and hold an Annual General Meeting, I thought I would use this Newsletter to provide an overview of what we have achieved in the past financial year.
As an organisation, our Mission 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 have certainly lived our Mission over the past 12 months, which has continued to be an incredibly challenging period for parents, siblings and carers.
EDFA is largely a volunteer not for profit, where parents and carers with lived experience work enormously hard to assist others in our community. It is the incredible contribution of these volunteers that allows EDFA to operate.
Our volunteers play such a critical role in the mission of EDFA, including support group facilitators, website development, guest speakers at education sessions, administration support, TBT-S Committee and the TBT-S US based presenters, Education Committee, government funding pitch efforts, fundraising initiatives, Facebook moderators, media and social media volunteers and our volunteer Board, to name a few.
So firstly, on behalf of the Board at EDFA, I would like to say a very big thank you to all of our volunteers! Your contribution over the past 12 months has made an enormous difference to EDFA and our members.
I’m proud to share a quick summary of some of our successes over the past 12 months
- Our monthly strive face-to-face support meetings continuing to operate online, reaching parents and carers no matter their geographical location.
- New strive support groups for carers supporting a loved one with ARFID and Bulimia Nervosa.
- New strive support group for male carers and carers who identify as male.
- New siblings support groups that provide a safe place for providing siblings a voice and acknowledgment for the range of emotions and daily struggles of living with a sibling with an eating disorder.
- We have continued to run our various strive online support communities via the Facebook forum, which have grown steadily in number. Our online communities are a valuable avenue for supporting our members daily.
- Our twice monthly online eating disorder educational sessions have continued to be hugely popular and we have also provided a carer lived experience program called Learning to Live With, Through & Beyond an Eating Disorder.
- We held a webinar with Professor Tony Attwood early this calendar year which was a ground breaking discussion on eating disorders and autism. EDFA essentially kick-started a global discussion which we should all be proud of.
- EDFA continues to bring clinician training of the latest emerging eating disorder treatment modality from USA, ‘Temperament Based Therapy with Supports’ (TBT-S). Our TBT-S webinars are held on a regular basis with expert US Clinicians providing this education to Australian Clinicians. We are very fortunate to be able to partner with talented and experienced US clinicians Dr. Laura Hill, Dr. Christina Wierenga, Dr. Stephanie Knatz Peck and Dr. Walter Kaye.
- TBT-S has been implemented in a trial program at a Victorian eating disorder clinic, with EDFA assisting via introductions to the US TBT-S team.
- Finally, we secured Hugh van Cuylenburg from The Resilience Project as our new EDFA Ambassador.
Of course, we also need to focus on fundraising via memberships, donations, philanthropy and government in order to operate. The 2021 financial year was a year of success for this, and we have managed to secure funding from all four sources, which will allow EDFA to employ some program staff and alleviate some of the pressure on our volunteers.
So, in conclusion, I would like to thank our volunteers and our members for their ongoing support, wisdom and compassion for each other daily, via our Facebook forums, and for their continued support for EDFA.
What else has been happenning at EDFA?
After much soul searching, EDFA had to make the very tough decision to cancel its major fundraising and awareness event, the Pass the Baton Gala Ball, which was re-scheduled to take place on the 5th June 2021 (postponed due to Covid19 from May 2020). It was a decision we felt was important for the safety of our vulnerable community and one which was not taken lightly. When Victoria was put into its fourth Covid19 lockdown, just days before the event was to take place, we were thankful that the EDFA Board’s decision was validated. Many members and their families and friends purchased tickets to come to the Ball and we want to highlight the incredibly generous support of all those ticketholders who chose to donate some or all of their ticket purchase as a tax-deductible donation. This provided EDFA with an amazing $55,000 in funds to continue our work supporting families impacted by eating disorders around Australia. Having lost our major fundraising opportunity after 2 years of trying, this generous contribution from our community has made a significant difference and we extend our sincere appreciation to all those who contributed.
EDFA continued to provide twice-monthly education sessions for its members.
On the 17th June we heard from Associate Professor Genevieve Pepin about her research into carer fatigue and PTSD. It was no surprise to learn that caring for someone with an eating disorder is associated with high levels of psychological distress and burden. Almost a record turnout to this valuable session by Professor Pepin, who has dedicated her life’s work to researching how to make things better for carers of those experiencing eating disorders.
On the 1st July, Dr Jennifer Bibb, senior music therapist, clinical researcher and mental health clinician spoke about her research focus on the role of music therapy in improving treatment outcomes for people with eating disorders, as well as the use of music listening during recovery. We learned that guided music therapy is helpful for addressing stress, anxiety and depression and can be a way of self-medicating, regulating emotion and managing mood.
On the 15th July, Dr Jake Linardon, Senior Research Fellow at Deakin University, Melbourne and founder of the Break Binge Eating website, gave an excellent information session on the findings of his research from evaluating treatment approaches for eating disorders. Jake also spoke about other advances in the ED field, gave advice for caregivers and shared his team’s new ED prevention and recovery tech interventions which are about to be released globally! This year Jake was rated by Expertscape in the top 1% of researchers worldwide specialising in eating disorders over the past 10 years.
These and most of EDFA’s education and information sessions are recorded and are accessible for financial members via the Member Only Access area of the website.
What's changing at EDFA?
As we grow, the needs of our members grow too.
On the 1st September 2021 our private online state based strive parent/carer Facebook pages will merge to become one national strive Australia Facebook page!
What does this mean for you? It means access to a wider, national eating disorder carer support network and community to support you on your journey. Join EDFA’s strive Australia private Facebook group here.
strive online carer support groups will continue to run in states and territories, – the change to one Australia Facebook group only affects the online Facebook page.
All our Member Only Resources (education recordings, online meeting links, files etc) will be available on our website to logged in members.
Detailed instructions on how to access Member Only Resources, your account, payments, renewals and more are uploaded into EDFA’s strive Australia private Facebook page under Announcements:
If you have any questions or queries, or need any help or support please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s coming up in August and September?
Look out for advertising on our social media pages for the following EDFA events coming up!
Stories of Hope – a journey shared with two mothers and their daughters, Thu, August 5, 8:00pm – 9:30pm
Siblings Support Group and Art Therapy session Thu, August 12, 7:30pm – 9.00pm
Neuro Linguistic Programming & Hypnotherapy for Eating Disorders, Thu, August 19, 8:00pm – 9:30pm
strive4Men Parent/Carer Support Group, Thu, August 26, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Stories of Hope – lived experience recovery journeys from severe and enduring ED, Thu, September 2, 8:00pm – 9:30pm
TBT-S Webinar for Clinicians: Adapting TBT-S to the Australian Setting – with Dr Laura Hill, Wed, September 8, 10:30am – 12:00pm
Siblings Support Group, Thu, September 9, 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Eva Musby, UK ED Author and Parent/Carer Coach, Thu, September 16, 8pm – 10pm
striveARFID Parent/Carer Support Group, Thu, September 23, 7:30pm – 9:00pm