Charlotte Bevan, fierce advocate and activist, died at home January 13, 2014.
A mother of teenagers, wife of a farmer, parent advocate for parents of eating disorder patients, major contributor to the Around the Dinner Table forum, writer of short information films, Expert Carer for the Eating Disorders team at the Maudsley and Breast Cancer patient.
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Wednesday 28 March 2012
Why This Is Important
For the state of NSW there are currently 2 acute inpatient beds. This has been reduced from the initial & inadequate 4 beds in 2010. With the creation of the National Eating Disorders Coalition in early 2009, the profile of eating disorders was supposed to be raised, yet in this time we have seen a decrease in the number of acute beds available to eating disorders patients in the state of NSW.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness; according to The Butterfly Foundation, the mortality rate of anorexia nervosa is 15-20%, with those with anorexia 32 times more likely to suicide than their healthy peers. Statistics for other eating disorders (bulimia nervosa & EDNOS) are poorly researched but outcomes are estimated to be on par with that of anorexia nervosa. The average duration of treatment is 7 years. Eating disorders come in all shapes & sizes. The biomedical approach to care means that patients in the public system are treated when most physically unwell (usually in a state of anorexia nervosa), leaving the illness to most often be treated as a physical illness & not a mental illness. "The health and socio-economic costs are also high with bulimia and anorexia being the 8th and 10th leading causes respectively of burden of disease and injury in young women (18 -24 years) in Australia, measured by disability-adjusted life years (10) and the percentage of disability-adjusted life years associated with eating disorders being comparable to schizophrenia." (The Butterfly Foundation, Eating Disorders Statistics).
The reality is that eating disorders are a mental illness with dire physical consequences. With adequate early intervention, there needn't be a high mortality rate, nor should there be physical complication associated with a mental disorder.