Key messages

  • The Victorian eating disorders strategy works to comprehensively address all of the personal and social factors inherent in eating disorders.
  • There are multiple eating disorders, which affect people at multiple levels.
  • Eating disorders need to be addressed comprehensively and early.

The Victorian eating disorders strategy considers eating disorders in their broader sociocultural context and seeks to provide more integrated and responsive services to people with eating disorders.

The strategy has four strategic priorities:

  • preventing and reducing the prevalence of eating disorders
  • early identification and response
  • targeted treatment from integrated services
  • strong system foundations.

The strategy promotes collaboration across sectors including primary health, mental health and specialist eating disorders services.

It sets a joint agenda for working across the connected areas of:

  • prevention
  • early identification
  • treatment and support.

Defining eating disorders

The term ‘eating disorders’ refers to a range of illnesses that include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorders.

Eating disorders have varying levels of severity.

The most severe eating disorders have relatively low prevalence, but are serious mental illnesses that can have severe and potentially fatal physical impacts.

Addressing eating disorders

People with eating disorders respond best when assertive medical and mental health assessment and treatment are provided early.

This section outlines the role of public specialist mental health services when responding to the needs of Victorians of all ages who experience eating disorders.

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