Progressing Canberra’s eating disorder residential treatment centre


A design tender for Canberra’s residential treatment centre opens today, taking the ACT closer to more support and services for people with eating disorders.

The centre will provide a home-like environment for people with eating disorders to receive specialised support for clients, families, and carers throughout their management and recovery journey. This includes intensive nutritional and psychological treatment in a supportive environment so people can have safe, healthy relationships with food and exercise.

Minister for Mental Health Emma Davidson said the residential centre will complement other services in the ACT, providing a stepped care model so more people can access support and care appropriate to their level of need.

“This is a significant milestone to ensure that Canberrans with eating disorders have more access to support, particularly for those who sit between low-level and acute, intensive care. This program will better support people before and after they reach a crisis point to receive the support they need to manage and recover from their eating disorder,” Minister Davidson said.

“It is key that this design and consultation process is done with people with lived experience. Their advice will be paramount to ensure ACT Government can appropriately meet the needs of people who face barriers receiving inpatient or outpatient support.

“The community has been advocating for a service like this for some time and the ACT Government is committed to ensuring we deliver a service that meets the needs of our community. I am grateful for the ongoing contribution from people with lived experience, including through the Eating Disorder Reference Group to advise on and help the ACT Government progress this important service.”

This is a new service for the ACT and will complement the other existing and planned eating disorder services in the territory such as the eating disorders program, the early intervention service, the clinical hub, primary care and inpatient services.

The facility’s preferred site is in Coombs and the concept design will be undertaken on part of Block 3, Section 17. Under the Indicative Land Release Program, the block is community zoned land. The design process will scope whether the site is suitable for the facility. The ACT Government will separately consult with the Molonglo Valley community on the rest of the block.

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.