The time to act is now on body image and eating disorders

4 Sep, 2023

InsideOut Institute is encouraging anyone who has concerns about their relationship with food or their body to seek advice, support and treatment now.  

Body Image and eating Disorders Awareness Week (BIEDAW) is a national week to shine a light on body image and eating disorders in the community.  

InsideOut Institute Director Sarah Maguire encourages people not to wait before seeking help.  

“We know that early intervention and treatment can increase the speed of your recovery,” said Associate Professor Maguire. 

“Eating disorders are serious and potentially life threatening. If you think you have an eating disorder or have developed unhealthy behaviours or attitudes about your body, weight or food, seek support right away.”  

InsideOut Institute Statewide Lead Caroline Hill says being unsure about making a change is completely normal as this is a symptom of the illness. 

“Take one step at a time, be open with loved ones as they can help take away some of the power that the eating disorder may have over you.”  

Alternatively, there may be another supportive figure in your life that you feel comfortable talking to, such as a teacher, youth group leader or family friend. Have a think about who this person might be.  

“Everybody’s situation is unique and personal, so it is important to choose who is right for you,” says InsideOut Institute Clinical Lead Rachel Simeone.  

Clinical Lead Rachel Simeone says booking to see a GPs is an important step in the right direction in seeking help. A GP will provide a space to answer questions about what is going on for you and recommend and refer to professional support if needed.  

“Make sure you have a doctor who you feel understands what you are experiencing, if you don’t feel that they are the right support for you then then seek out a health professional who is. It is important to have a treatment team that you feel comfortable with.”  

InsideOut’s Treatment Services Database can assist you in finding a private or community practitioner or support group near you.  

Finally, if you would prefer to have a chat to someone on the phone or online, there are lots of confidential services to help give you some information and advice: 

The Butterfly Foundation’s National Helpline is for anyone seeking information and support around eating disorders and body image issues. 

1800 33 4673  

eheadspace offers support and advice from trained counsellors to help anyone 12-25 years old work through anything that is bothering them.