Eating disorder workshop is food for thought

Mim Weber of the Northern Rivers Eating Disorder Service
Mim Weber of the Northern Rivers Eating Disorder Service Northern Star

IT IS fortunate Mim Weber likes complex work.

The co-ordinator of the Northern Rivers Eating Disorders Service believes her job is rewarding but tricky, and that is one of the reasons it is hard to attract more professionals into the field.

“Eating disorders is an area that people find really difficult because quite often the treatment is long-term and there is not one definite way of treating this problem,” she said.

“And because there is a high death rate many people get scared off, for people with a diagnosis of anorexia about 20 per cent have died within a 20-year-period.

“Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any of the psychiatric illnesses, and a very high level of suicide.

“One of my goals in this region is to increase the number of practitioners who are confident and competent in working with people with eating disorders.”

In order to advance this goal Ms Weber has helped bring a renowned specialist across the world to attend a workshop in Byron Bay.

Professor Janet Treasure is the director of the eating disorders unit in a South London hospital, and a professor of psychiatry at Guy's, King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine in London.

Professor Treasure has been responsible for some groundbreaking clinical research in the treatment of eating disorders, and has written more than 200 research papers and various well-known books.

This is the only regional workshop she will be presenting on her east coast tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Ms Weber said the workshop was targeting general practitioners, counsellors, psychiatrists, dieticians and naturopaths with an interest in the area of eating disorders who wanted to learn more.

“For me it was really about bringing to the local area an international standard of training that would skill people up so they would feel more confident in this line of work,” she said.

“The people who come to seek help for eating disorders are incredible, they are people who are really nice human beings and many of them are very young with enormous potential and a lot to offer the world, and it is not their fault that they ended up with these issues.”

The workshop will be held at the Lord Byron Resort on Friday and Saturday.

For inquiries contact Mim Weber on 0417 269 784, or Peta Marks at peta

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