$1.3 million to back Wandi Nerida’s nation-first eating disorder treatment

Families affected by eating disorders are set to benefit from a $1.3 million investment into the Wandi Nerida residential eating disorder treatment and recovery centre in Mooloolah on the Sunshine Coast.

The funding is part of a $24.3 million package in the 2022-23 Budget to establish, support and expand eating disorder treatment programs across the country, and comes on the back of $111 million invested into eating disorder care since 2019.

Wandi Nerida is Australia’s only specialist residential facility, providing and treatment for people with eating disorders, and was funded with community and philanthropic support, as well as $6 million of Federal Government funds. The 13-bed facility, located on 25 acres of tranquil, semi-rural land in Mooloolah, provides an integrated service supporting groups like Eating Disorders Queensland, Queensland Eating Disorder Service, and endED.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that the new funding would make a huge difference to those affected by eating disorders and builds on the record funding for eating disorder care and research in 2021-22 Budget.

“I have worked hard to cement the Sunshine Coast’s place as an Australian leader in mental health, and to transform the way Australia talks about eating disorders. The funding enables Wandi Nerida to expand their innovative recovery program.”

“I am pleased that the Federal Government is focused on delivering better mental health outcomes for Sunshine Coast families, particularly those affected by eating disorders. By providing the $1.3 million to Wandi Nerida, the Federal Government is investing in the care and recovery of many more families into the future.”

Jodie Ashworth, Executive Director of Wandi Nerida, said that the additional funding would allow Wandi Nerida to continue to support people affected by eating disorders across Australia, who may not otherwise be able to access care, or who would be held back by the revolving door so commonly experienced by those with an eating disorder.

“Wandi Nerida is operating a new model of care that focuses not only on the medical and nutritional needs, but the intense psychological support required to support and sustain recovery. This funding will be the beginning of establishing a system of care that focuses on prevention, treatment and recovery, including providing options for step-down care to support participants coming out of residential facilities such as Wandi Nerida.”

“We have been well supported by our local Member, Andrew Wallace MP, who has been a passionate advocate for a residential treatment centre, and it is welcome to see the Federal Government acknowledging the impact of eating disorders on Australians. 1 in 5 Australians are affected by an eating disorder and the COVID pandemic has further impacted the rate and severity of mental illness in our community.”

Keely Blest, who participated in the Wandi Nerida recovery program, said that after living with an eating disorder for over 16 years, Wandi Nerida provided the right kind and level of care to begin her recovery.

“I was so fortunate to be able to access residential care at Wandi Nerida as one of the first participants to go through the program. Thank you to the Federal Government and in particular Andrew Wallace, for believing in this facility and fighting to make it happen.

“The team at Wandi Nerida hold a special place in my heart for everything they have helped me to achieve throughout the most challenging and rewarding journey I have embarked upon.”

The Morrison Government is delivering a number of vital initiatives to ensure continuity of care and access to high quality treatment and support for those affected by eating disorders, as part of our $6.8 billion commitment to boosting mental health outcomes for Australian families in the 2022-23 Budget.

Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au).