Eating Disorders Program

Who we are

The PCH Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Eating Disorders Program (EDP) is run by a multi-disciplinary team that provides outpatient care, day treatment and in reach support for children and adolescents with eating disorders. The EDP team can also provide family support as well as education and training for health professionals and the community.

Young people and their families are supported by the EDP team from assessment through to recovery and discharge from the service, or the patient’s transfer to adult services if required.

Conditions we manage

Eating disorders can affect females and males of all backgrounds, cultures and age groups, although they are most common during the adolescent and young adult years.

Three of the most common types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

Services we provide

  • Assessment, treatment and follow-up care for inpatients and outpatients.
  • Family support and peer mentoring.
  • Community-based interventions.
  • Training and consultation for primary and secondary care providers.

Assessment

Young people referred for concerns about eating disorders will be assessed by our multidisciplinary team, which comprises a psychiatrist, paediatrician, mental health clinicians, a dietitian, physiotherapist and school liaison teachers.

Inpatient services

In some cases, hospital admission may be required to help restore a young person’s weight or if physical symptoms are significant enough to cause medical concern. The average time an EDP patient will spend in hospital is about three weeks, during which time it may be possible to continue attending existing community-based treatments.

Parent and caregiver involvement in goal setting and meal support is vital to helping young people achieve the goals of their admission and in preparing them to leave hospital. Our dietitians and mental health clinicians will work with parents around strategies for supporting meals, emotions and activity.

Day treatment

The Day Treatment Program is available to help inpatients as they transition from hospital to home. It can also be an alternative to hospital admission for some outpatients.

The program provides support and guidance for young people experiencing difficulty with health, food and eating. Parents are encouraged to work with EDP staff to support their child by participating in interviews, shared meal times and group therapy sessions. Parent involvement helps the young person to transition back into school, family life and outpatient care.

Other mental health issues

Many people who have an eating disorder also have other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or substance use disorders. These require support and treatment alongside the eating disorder.

For more detailed information, please visit the NEDC (National Eating Disorders Collaboration) website.

Parent and family support

Our Parent Education and Support Program includes parent workshops, forums and family therapy sessions. We encourage parents to participate in their child’s nutritional counselling, physiotherapy sessions and medical reviews and to provide school support.

Parents or primary carers of young people starting treatment will be invited to attend an orientation session that provides information on eating disorders and EDP treatment. We also offer education and skill building workshops to help parents support their child and a monthly group program to help connect families participating in the program.

Referrals


We accept referrals for young people up to 16 years of age.

A written referral from a GP, psychologist or school counsellor/nurse is required for a full assessment and to access treatment through the EDP.

Referral letters should be sent to:

Intake Coordinator
Eating Disorders Program
Child and Adolescent Health Service
Perth Children’s Hospital 

When a referral has been received, the Intake Coordinator will contact you (the family) to discuss your concerns and ask some preliminary assessment questions. The Intake Coordinator may then arrange an appointment for an assessment, or recommend community-based organisations you can contact for information and support.

We can organise consultations via videoconference for families from rural or remote areas. Visit the WA Country Health Service website to find out if you are eligible for travel support via the Patient Accommodation and Transport Scheme (PATS).

Emergencies

Severe dizziness and fainting can be signs that a young person with an eating disorder needs immediate medical help and should attend PCH’s Emergency Department.

Location

Inpatients: Ward 4A, Level 4.

Outpatients and day program: Clinic K, Level 2.

View the PCH map for more information.

Related links

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service 

Mental Health Inpatient Unit (Ward 5A)

Paediatric Consultation Liaison Program