Issue 54 | Engaging with Primary Health Networks
About this resource
Welcome to this edition of the NEDC e-Bulletin, packed with news from the latest NEDC Members’ Meeting, an overview of professional development workshops held in Tasmania and the NEDC’s interactive resource Stories from Experience.
As we head into the second half of 2018, we bring you a recap of the 2018 NEDC Members’ Meeting, which took place in June in Sydney: two days filled with valuable workshops, seminars and networking, held under the theme “Eating Disorders in Primary Care”.
A special welcome was extended to representatives from Primary Health Networks (PHNs) from all over Australia; the NEDC is currently engaged in a series of workshops in partnership with PHNs. The first workshops took place in Tasmania in May – read on further for more information about the sessions.
We conclude this e-Bulletin by exploring Stories from Experience, the NEDC’s new interactive resource, launched on the international scene in April at the 2018 International Eating Disorders’ Conference.
If you are interested in connecting or collaborating with the NEDC, we encourage you to join and become an NEDC member.
It was a cold and bleak start to June in Sydney this year, but there was no stopping over 180 health professionals and people with lived experience of an eating disorder from attending the 2018 NEDC Members’ Meeting.
From the Northern Territory to Tasmania via Western Australia, this year’s knowledge building and research forum attracted participants from all over Australia, with a special welcome to Primary Health Networks (PHNs).
Held under the theme “Eating Disorders in Primary Care”, the Members’ Meeting was convened by the NEDC to enable our diverse and invaluable membership to come together, share knowledge and discuss national standards, workforce development, prevention, early intervention and treatment of eating disorders.
The 2018 guest speakers included Beth Shelton, Gabriella Heruc, Chris Thornton, Warren Ward, Christine Morgan, Philippa Hay, Anthea Fursland, Tracey Wade, Lesley Cook, Kahli Mason, Monique Van Leeuwen, Frances Cook, Ingrid Ozols, Shannon Calvert, Braiden Fiztsimmons.
Topics, covered in a series of plenaries, breakout sessions and workshops, included:
An Introduction to Eating Disorders; Hidden Truths – Dispelling nutrition myths in an over-informed world; CBT Guided Self Help; Eating Disorders Standards and Competency Framework, and NEDC’s new interactive resource Stories from Experience.
Attendees were given the opportunity to:
• Engage with key eating disorder experts and PHN stakeholders to build an integrated approach to eating disorders
• Learn about evidence-based initiatives in primary care
• Explore opportunities for collaboration with the nation-wide eating disorders workforce
• Engage with NEDC plans and projects including providing suggestions, requests and recommendations
• Access opportunities for local and national professional networking
• Gather a suite of evidence based resources from NEDC and a range of other key stakeholders.
Film footage and copies of the presentations will soon be available via the new E-Learning section of the NEDC website – watch this space for more information.
Engaging with PHNs in Tasmania – An introduction to Eating Disorders
In May this year, the NEDC team headed to Tasmania to conduct the first of an ongoing series of professional development workshops held under the theme “An Introduction to Eating Disorders”.
The popular sessions took place in Burnie, Launceston and Hobart, with over 120 registrations across the three events.
Attendees came from a wide variety of backgrounds, from pharmacists to diabetes educators to medical students to social workers. Across this diverse group, a strong theme of wanting to work together and understand each other’s roles within the multidisciplinary team clearly emerged.
The Introduction to Eating Disorders sessions covered key facts about eating disorders - including busting some common myths; the trans-diagnostic model of eating disorders and what this means for the care team; the voices of lived experience of eating disorders; the eating disorder continuum of care; and approaches to prevention, safe communication and evidence-based treatment.
Each session was two hours long, and offered a free, evidence-based continuing professional development activity for health professionals, on a topic that many participants said they saw commonly in their practice but had received little formal training in.
The three sessions were delivered by the NEDC in partnership with Primary Health Tasmania. Primary Health Tasmania is the Primary Health Network for that state, and an initiative of the Australian Government.
Stories from Experience
In April this year, Chicago hosted the 2018 International Eating Disorders’ Conference. NEDC National Manager Frances Cook was there, introducing to the world the NEDC’s new interactive resource, Stories from Experience.
Designed to guide individuals who are recovering or have recovered from an eating disorder in writing their story, Stories from Experience was co-produced by people with experience of eating disorders and people with technical skills in sharing stories.
Stories from Experience includes 12 interactive modules and learning content to help reflect on experience and craft purposeful stories.
The development of Stories from Experience was a response to existing research and feedback from NEDC members with lived experience of an eating disorder and their families.
The NEDC consulted with members through an online survey and semi-structured interviews, to identify their needs and interest in learning to share their personal story. The survey results showed that 89% of participants had already shared their experience of an eating disorder - primarily with health professionals, friends or family members, and 92% wanted to learn how to share their story in a safe and purposeful way.
The primary reason for participants wanting to share their story was to help others, improve services and raise awareness about eating disorders. The underpinning premise of Stories from Experience is that writing and strengthening connections with other people can be positive for personal wellbeing if approached in a constructive, safe and supported way.
In addition, it may enhance motivation for recovery in others and contribute to positive community awareness of eating disorders.
Engaging with this resource will help individuals:
- Reflect on their experience
- Make decisions about safely sharing their experience with others
- Practice writing and speaking about their experience
- Listen and respond appropriately to the experiences and needs of others
- Construct purposeful stories to achieve specific goals
- Share evidence based information about eating disorders as well as personal experience
- Access information about consumer participation and consumer advocacy
The resource has been piloted with relevant stakeholders to ensure its safety and effectiveness in a variety of settings before being produced into this online tool for wider distribution.
Who is this resource for?
Stories from Experience has been designed in collaboration with experts and people with lived experience.
This resource may be useful for:
- Someone recovering or recovered from an eating disorder
- Someone wishing to share their story in the media or online
- People participating in peer support or consumer participation activities
- Professionals who organise peer support or consumer participation activities
- Carers wishing to write about their experience
For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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