An eating disorder is a complex mental illness which can be severe and enduring. Approximately 1 million Australians are currently experiencing an eating disorder, 2/3 being female.
In Australia, hospital care is the standard approach when an eating disorder is at its most acute and its physical effects severe. The focus of this kind of care is on medical stabilisation and weight gain with a view to improving vital bodily functions. However, often this care does not address the underlying psychological dimensions. Admissions to hospital are often repeated with traumatic effects for the individuals receiving treatment, often unwillingly.
To solve this problem, Butterfly has opened Wandi Nerida – Australia’s first residential care facility which opened in July 2021. Using a new Clinical Model of Care, the facility provides holistic, individualised treatment drawing on a range of evidence-based therapies with a high staff-to-client ratio.
As this treatment is intensive and provided 24/7, the cost per participant is very high – based on an expected average stay off 60 days, the cost per participant is $75,000. To ensure this treatment is accessible to all Australians, we offer bursaries to individuals based on eligibility and means. These bursaries are funded by private philanthropy – the greater our pool of bursary funds, the more we can provide equitable treatment for all Australians who need it the most and ensure no one misses out due to lack of financial means.