The National Eating Disorders Strategy 2023-2033 is now live!
The National Strategy is a call to action and a roadmap for people who care about and are responsible for improving Australia’s response to eating disorders.
It is a tool to help people at all levels and in all settings to work in a coordinated and sustained way to achieve a full and coordinated system of care for all.
Based on a depth and breadth of knowledge and ideas from people with lived experience, clinicians, researchers, governments, community providers, service development leaders and public health experts across Australia, the National Strategy is designed to guide sector development and policy development for the next decade. It is a system-building strategy.
To articulate the key components, standards and actions that are required to achieve an effective, equitable and coordinated system of care that meets the needs of people experiencing or at risk of eating disorders and their families/supports and communities.
• Eating disorder care is embedded in the health systems of all states/territories and regions.
• People experiencing or at risk of eating disorders and their families, supports and communities can access an effective, equitable and coordinated system of care.
• The prevalence of eating disorders is reduced, and recovery outcomes and quality of life are improved.
What is included in the National Strategy?
The focus is on defining what is needed in an effective, equitable and coordinated system of care for eating disorders, and on feasible, grounded steps for building it.
The Strategy articulates key components, standards and actions that are required to achieve an effective, equitable and coordinated system of care that meets the needs of people experiencing or at risk of eating disorders and their families/supports and communities.
The National Eating Disorders Strategy provides a clear formulation of the full eating disorders system of care and sets out minimum standards and priority actions to guide system change. In recognition that workforce development is a critical enabler of system change, the National Strategy also sets out workforce minimum standards and priority actions. Outcome evaluation support is also included.
How do I access the National Strategy?
Access the full document here or by clicking on the green box on the right side of the webpage.
Specific content has been developed for each element of the Stepped System of Care: Prevention, Identification, Initial Response, Treatment, and Psychosocial and Recovery Support, as well as Workforce.
How will the National Strategy be actioned?
NEDC will be actively supporting the implementation of the Strategy with collaborative sector initiatives, consultation, and resources. We invite you to read and use the Strategy - read it all or go straight to a specific area of interest in the system of care. How are the standards and actions relevant to your setting/s and responsibilities?
How will the National Strategy be evaluated?
An evaluation resource has been developed by NEDC to support implementation of the National Strategy. This evaluation tool has been developed for service leaders, commissioners of services, implementers and local champions. It provides a menu of options for identifying progress indicators, setting outcome goals and measuring the impact and effectiveness of service/program changes implemented based on the standards and actions outlined within the National Eating Disorders Strategy.
Access the National Strategy Evaluation Tool here.
How can I keep up to date with implementation of the National Strategy?
You can sign up to be a member of NEDC here. Membership is free. You will receive monthly communications from NEDC about the National Strategy as well as other projects and sector developments.
If you have questions about the Strategy or would like to discuss its implementation in your context, please reach out to our team via firstname.lastname@example.org
Stepped System of Care for Eating Disorders
NEDC has developed a model of the stepped system of care for eating disorders, with examples of care and treatment services that people may require. Principles and guidelines, lived experience, and research and evaluation should underpin and inform all components.
The Development of the National Strategy
The development of the National Strategy was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. NEDC engaged in extensive national consultations with stakeholders to identify what is required to build and embed a system of care that meets the needs of people experiencing or at risk of eating disorders, and their families/supports and communities.
National Strategy - Lived Experience Stories
The expertise and insight of people with lived experience, their families, supports and communities have provided the foundation for the development of the Strategy. These videos have been recorded by people with lived experience to help us better understand the gaps in the system of care and hopes for the National Strategy in creating an effective, equitable, and coordinated system of care for people at risk of, or experiencing eating disorders, their families, supports, and communities.
Eating disorder prevention refers to actions, programs, or policies that aim to reduce modifiable risk factors for eating disorders, and/or bolster protective factors, to reduce the likelihood that a person will experience an eating disorder. Eating disorder prevention actions, programs or policies may also seek to address the broader factors which impact on health, known as the social determinants of health.
Identification refers to the detection of warning signs or symptoms, and engagement with the person who may be experiencing an eating disorder, to support access to an initial response. In some instances, warning signs or symptoms may be self-identified, and the person may seek out an initial response themselves.
An initial response comprises an initial assessment and preliminary diagnosis, and referral to the most appropriate treatment options based on the person’s psychological, physical, nutritional, and psychosocial needs. This may include facilitating access to an appropriate intervention for a person experiencing sub-threshold eating/body image concerns.
Eating disorder treatment refers to evidence-based mental health treatment, in conjunction with medical monitoring and treatment, along with access to nutritional intervention and other services as needed. Treatment can be delivered through digital, telehealth and/or face-to face interventions.
Psychosocial & Recovery Support
Psychosocial support refers to services and programs which support the broader psychological and social needs of the person experiencing or at risk of an eating disorder and their family/supports and community. Recovery support refers to services and programs which support a person experiencing an eating disorder to engage with or sustain recovery or improved quality of life and assist family/supports and community in their caring role.
There is a need for a workforce of adequate size, skill, and diversity positioned across the system of care to meet the needs of all people at risk of or experiencing an eating disorder and their families/supports and communities. Data-driven, strategic, and coordinated workforce development will enable this to happen.
National Eating Disorders Strategy Implementation Forum
You are warmly invited to the first National Eating Disorders Strategy Implementation Forum. During this forum, speakers will support attendees to identify standards and actions across the Stepped System of Care relevant to their role, supporting a sequenced, action-oriented and supported approach to implementing the National Strategy.