Draft designs for ACT Residential Eating Disorder Facility released


Minister for Mental Health Emma Davidson unveiled the draft designs for the ACT Residential Centre for eating disorders (the Centre), which has a preferred site in Coombs, at the Molonglo Valley Community Forum August meeting last night.

The Centre will provide a home-like environment with specialised support for people with eating disorders, their families, and carers on their recovery journey. Minister Davidson says this Centre is part of a broader stepped model of care for eating disorders across the ACT.  

“Canberrans with eating disorders need access to services which are appropriate for their stage in the recovery journey, so they can develop healthy relationships with food and exercise to live well in their community,” Minister Davidson said.

“The ACT Government is focused on the design and implementation of eating disorder services through a stepped care model, so that everyone can access the right support at the right time. The centre will provide a more intensive, residential service for people who may sit between low-level community care and acute clinical care.”

The ACT Government launched the Eating Disorders Clinical Hub in January to improve coordination of resources, services, and expertise to ensure people with eating disorders are quickly connected with health and community services that best support their individual needs. The community-based Early Intervention Service is also currently open for tender and is anticipated to launch 2022/23 to provide care for people while they are still at, or returning to, home.

Minister Davidson and ACT Health officials visited the only other operational residential eating disorder facility in Australia in late July to draw from their learnings on how to best support people on their recovery journey and commence the next stage of more detailed designs.

“It was wonderful to see how the Wandi Nerida facility in Queensland replicates a home-like environment where people in need can access practical support and management strategies. It highlights, through experience, that this type of care helps more people get the support they need to live well back home and in their community. The ACT Centre will be free for those who need to access the service.”

The Preliminary Sketch Plan Phase is underway which will be used as part of the development application process, which is due to be submitted in late 2022, at which stage ACT Health will undertake further consultation. The facility is on track to be completed in 2023/24.

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