By Violeta Bozinovski. Director / Co-Founder
Welcome to the all-new monthly wrap up from EDFA!
I sincerely hope that the first quarter of this year has been a much better experience for you all than this time last year.
Since establishing EDFA, my passion for the work that we do and for the things we can and have achieved, has only strengthened over the years. This is all due to the amazing families I have met along the way and seeing them find strength from our programs and lived-experience community, gain confidence and turn corners towards recovery for their loved ones. There is not one family I have come across that does not want the best, to do the best and learn the skills necessary to effectively support and enable their loved one to achieve recovery.
As we keep saying, recovery truly is possible, no matter how long one has suffered from an eating disorder.
In my personal case, after ‘successfully completing’ and ‘graduating’ from an FBT program in 2015 with our then, 14-year-old daughter, we desperately watched her fall and falter with close supervision over the next 4 years. I can now say that we are extremely hopeful of a full recovery. She has made amazing inroads in the last few months and we now see a rainbow on our horizon with family life going back to a form of normality that we were too scared to imagine a few short months ago. We are not there yet, but, we seem to be on our way.
I have seen it in my own house, and in many other households over the last few years so, I re-iterate to all our members, that recovery is possible. Never give up and remember, there is not one modality or treatment that is right for every person’s recovery. If one does not work, try another and another, until you know in your gut that these are the ones that will see improvements for your loved one.
Creating positive change
In all the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 paved the way for our organisation to make many positive changes and take great strides into bedding down and expanding our programs and service offerings.
In our last newsletter we announced new support groups for 2021 and since then we have had even more amazing program launches. This has only been possible due to the dedication of our small team of lived-experience carer volunteers who are dedicated to learning and sharing all the knowledge accumulated over the years, with other carers, so that we achieve our vision of:
- An Australia where eating disorders struggle to emerge, thrive or persist
And continue our Mission
- 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
Big moves in March
March proved to be a very busy month for EDFA.
We look forward to continue this group alternatively with our April launch of Carers of People with Bulimia Nervosa support group.
March was also one of the most exciting months for our member Education and Information Program
We were so excited to launch our new monthly “Siblings Education and Support” group and had siblings of various ages in attendance. This unique group is the only one solely focused on siblings living alongside a sibling with an eating disorder. It is a very important group as Siblings are known as the silent sufferers in a family with an eating disorder in the home and can become the eating disorder’s long-term “collateral damage”. Learn more here
We’ve had amazing feedback from parents and siblings who attended the first session and look forward to consolidating this service into our ongoing suite of programs.
Other unique education and information topics covered this month were:
- Recovery – “A Dad’s Perspective” – Three of our dad members spoke about their personal experience and from the feedback received, we realised the need for more support for men.
- To this end, we are in the process of planning for quarterly strive4men support groups which will commence in the near future.
- Autism & Eating Disorders
- A timely topic – we were honoured to have the world renowned expert on ASD, Professor Tony Attwood present this webinar where he outlined the links between Eating Disorders and Autism. The session was attended by over 100 clinicians from across the globe and as many member carers.
- Management of Eating Disorders in Primary Care – A General Practitioner’s Role –
- We were humbled to have one of our very own members a mum who is a GP and who, through experience with her own daughter’s eating disorder, provided incredible insight into a GPs role in caring for a patient with an eating disorder.
- Art Therapy in Eating Disorder Recovery
- What’s it really like living alongside a sibling with an Eating Disorder?
- Three of our young members who are adult siblings, told their story of what it is like to belong in a family who is battling an eating disorder
What’s coming up in April?
We look forward to hearing a live discussion with those who live with an eating disorder – “Table Talk from the Inside” and launching a unique, tailored small group, education and information program, “Learning to Live Parent/Carer Education Series”.
The 4 x 2 hr sessions will be held over 4 weeks where carers can hear how the mind of a person with an eating disorder works and learn skills and strategies to best support their loved one.
TBT-S clinician training with Prof Walter Kaye here. Clinicians from around Australia can learn more about the latest in neurobiology research, new insights, targeting pathways with new medications and using temperament traits to improve recovery success.
Can you help?
EDFA is always needing volunteers with various talents. If you are interested in being involved in various committees and have experience in Grant Writing, Fund Raising or Communications, Public Relations & Media, we would be super excited to hear from you. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
At EDFA we are proud of our communities, online, face to face and over the phone. We are here, as Carers, to support Carers. Know that you are not alone and feel free reach out any time.