Australia’s first residential eating disorder recovery centre, based here on the Sunshine Coast, is marking one year of making a difference.
Wandi Nerida is a 13-bed, purpose-built facility at Mooloolah Valley and provides a much-needed bridge between hospital admission and outpatient care.
As an arm of the Butterfly Foundation, it is changing the eating disorder-treatment landscape in Australia and providing an individualised path to recovery.
Former Wandi Nerida participant, Hayley – whose name has been changed for the purpose of the story – says her time at the centre has made an immense difference to her eating disorder-recovery journey.
“I don’t think words can describe what this journey has been like,” she says. “It has been the hardest, most painful thing I have ever done, but also the most freeing.
“As I prepare to leave today, I have the one thing that I didn’t believe is possible to have – hope.”
Wandi Nerida director Jodie Ashworth says the past year has been an opportunity to learn and reflect on how to make recovery a reality.
She says she is looking forward to seeing continued progress at the recovery centre and hopes its success will set a precedent for greater access to residential care across Australia.
“While we commemorate this milestone, we also acknowledge the significant work that still needs to be undertaken to ensure eating disorder care and treatment in Australia is accessible to all,” Ms Ashworth says.
“We are pleased Wandi Nerida’s model of care will be used to inform future residential centres, and we are looking forward to collaborating with stakeholders to bring them to life.”
Ms Ashworth says ongoing support of public and private donors is integral to ensuring the facility can help as many people as possible.
Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues can call the Butterfly National Helpline on 1800 33 4673. For urgent support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.