Home help for eat­ing dis­or­ders

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By GIOVANNI TORRE

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).

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