Home help for eating disorders
THE Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service’s Eating Disorders Program has announced a new carer support program that will support parents of children with an eating disorder returning home from hospital.
The program’s trainers are parents and carers of children who used to suffer from eating disorders, who combine their personal experience with learned expertise to advise parents and carers dealing with the same situation.
It was developed after a review of the service earlier this year found some parents felt unprepared to manage their children’s distress on discharge from hospital.
Peer Support project officer Kathy Logie is leading the training for the Carer Peer Support Program alongside Richard McAllister, a parent who has had first-hand experience with the Eating Disorders Program.
Trainer Andrew told the Western Suburbs Weekly he “wanted to give something back” to the service that had helped his family.
“All of the trainers have lived experience in caring for someone with an eating disorder. I have been through that process. My son was unwell a few years ago and he has recovered now, and I wanted to give something back to the service,” he said.
“There have been support groups; I was part of a father’s group… (Now) they have gotten together a group of people (parents and careers with lived experience) and trained them and the goal is to insert them into situations so they can facilitate help.”
Andrew said his family’s own experience had been a long journey.
“My son was about 13 when he started to get unwell,” he said.
“We struggled for several months at the beginning, which is quite common for a lot of parents that are waiting to get into the system and get information and help. Recovery was at least two years.”
Andrew and EDP program manager Julie Potts (top left) with other mentors and Kathy Logie (bottom right).