ACT Eating Disorder Residential Facility Design Tender Award

A dedicated facility in ACT enabling people to access care for their eating disorders is one step closer with a design tender awarded to Collard Clarke Jackson Canberra Pty Ltd.

The residential center will provide a home environment for people with eating disorders, their families and caregivers. It will provide specialist support for their recovery journey, including nutritional and psychological care, so people can develop healthy relationships with food and exercise.

Mental Health Minister Emma Davidson said the announcement brings Canberra closer to a stronger, needs-driven mental health landscape.

“Canberrans with eating disorders need access to care services that are tailored and flexible to their needs, from early engagement to ongoing treatment. The Eating Disorders Residential Center is a necessary service into the care landscape,” said Minister Davidson.

“The residential center will complement other ACT services and offer a stepped model of care that provides appropriate support no matter where people are on the continuum of need. It will be essential to support people who are between low-level community care and intensive or clinical care.

“The start of the design phase will provide clarity on the location, development process and expectations around when the community can expect to access the service. We are still in the early stages, but this work is being developed in conjunction with other support services to ensure that people in Canberan have greater access to care for eating disorders, whatever their level of need.

The ACT government has committed $2.2 million through the 2019-2020 budget to provide more services for eating disorders, including the territory-wide model of care that will be finalized this year and providing more accessible pathways for Canberrans to transition between care.

Work is also underway on the community-based early intervention service for eating disorders, which will focus on supporting healthy behaviors and caring for people in the early stages of their eating disorder. The program is expected to launch in 2022/23.

The Eating Disorders Clinical Hub was launched in January this year to improve the coordination of resources, services and expertise across ACT for people with or affected by eating disorders. The clinical center ensures better access to care by connecting people to the services that best meet their needs and situation.

The design of the residential eating disorder facility will be developed in consultation with the health sector, people with eating disorders, their families, carers and the local community to ensure that the needs of those who will engage with the service are properly supported.

Canberrans and key stakeholders will be kept informed of the project as the design process develops. After completion of the proof of concept works, construction is expected to begin towards the end of 2022 and be completed by the end of 2023.

The Commonwealth Government has agreed to fund $13.5 million over three years from 2021/22 for the development of the residential treatment centre.

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Abdul J. Gaspar