Services and treatments

Key points:

  • There is often a range of health professionals involved in one person’s care and treatment
  • Not all eating disorders are treated the same way
  • Most eating disorders are not treated in hospital settings

Professional treatment for eating disorders includes physical health management, nutritional advice and mental health management. In addition, medication, support groups and some alternative therapies may be useful.

Who is involved?

There are often a number of different health professionals involved in one person’s treatment and care.

  • GP: assesses symptoms, might make the initial diagnosis, monitors physical health, may prescribe and monitor medication.
  • Psychologist: works with you to understand how thoughts and feelings are linked to behaviours and how to make positive changes.
  • Dietitian: can help you understand your body’s nutritional requirements, devise meal plans, deal with fears around food and re-establish a pattern of ‘normal’ eating.

Where does treatment happen?

Understanding treatment options for a person with an eating disorder can be a bit bewildering. People with eating disorders may be treated by different kinds of health professionals and need different levels of care depending on the type and severity of the problem. Typical organisations include:

  • Primary health organisations such as GP clinics
  • Public mental health services
  • Community health organisations
  • Private psychology clinics
  • Hospital day programs
  • Hospital inpatient program