Mark Butler announces grants for programs in mental ill-health and eating disorders

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Health minister Mark Butler has announced that the Albanese Government will provide $70 million in grants for programs to research and treat mental ill-health and eating disorders.

The research aims to improve services, educate health professionals and support patients, their families and carer.

Programs to address gaps identified by people with lived experience of eating disorders and other experts will share in $20 million of funding.

The University of Sydney’s InsideOut Institute’s eClinic and Digital GP Hub will receive $4 million each.

The eClinic will make evidence-based care and treatment available digitally to people with an eating disorder, regardless of where they live.

People with experience have consistently reported a lack of knowledge in primary care. The Digital GP Hub will work to address this knowledge gap, delivering screening tools, resources, and practice supports to GPs.

The Right Care Right Place program will make it easier for people to navigate the health system, with $3.9 million provided to the National Eating Disorders Collaboration to trial care coordinators in four Primary Health Network (PHN) regions.

The Butterfly Foundation will receive $2.8 million to implement a recovery support program for patients discharged from a hospital or residential centre, delivered virtually and available nationally.

Eating Disorders Queensland, Eating Disorders Families Australia, and Headspace will also receive funding to increase community care support.

In response to the recent decline in children's mental health and the rise in self-harm and eating disorders, Mr Butler said the Government would provide $50 million for the Medical Research Future Fund’s Childhood Mental Health Research Plan.

“A million Australians are impacted by eating disorders and many report a lack of awareness in a health system that is difficult to navigate and offers inconsistent care," said Mr Butler.

“We have seen a worrying and significant deterioration in the mental health of children and a rise in self-harm and eating disorders.

“This funding will back innovative ways to support people with eating disorders and mental ill-health and deliver better outcomes.”