EDV is excited to announce that we will be hosting June Alexander to hold an all day therapeutic writing workshop. Join us, as June will teach you how to explore the benefits of writing and how it can help in your recovery from an eating disorder.
EDV is seeking a part-time (0.8EFT four days a week) Receptionist who is responsible for reception and administrative activities that support the organisation’s services and programs.
0.8 EFT 12-month contract
Salary commensurate with experience plus superannuation and salary sacrifice arrangements
Work for a leader in eating disorder services
About Eating Disorders Victoria
Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) is a non-profit organisation, which supports those affected by eating disorders, and their families. Eating Disorders Victoria also provides information, education and advocacy about eating disorders to the wider community. The organisational values are Respect, Acceptance and Hope, and these values underpin a philosophy of recovery. The organisation is led by a Board of Management, and is funded by state government, philanthropic funds, fee for service and donations.
Much of EDV’s work is based on the principles of Mutual Support and Self Help. Volunteers are critical members of the team, often bringing their lived experience of eating disorders to their role, and enhance the activities of in a variety of ways including assisting EDV staff to respond to requests for information, referral and support, and in the provision of support groups and community education activities.
About the role
Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) is seeking a part-time Receptionist to join the team to undertake reception and administrative activities that support the organisation’s services and programs. Key accountabilities include welcoming all to the service, administration for the psychology program, processing accounts, managing equipment, data entry and general duties to support the EDV team.
To excel in this role, you are an effective communicator, well organised and have a high attention to detail. The successful candidate provides an initial point of contact for those who access our services, so we will want them to be friendly, empathetic and enthusiastic in representing EDV. You will have experience working in the administration field and ideally have an understanding or the mental health sector.
Salaries and conditions of employment will be in accordance with the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award – 2010.
“A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.” Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)"
In October and November of 2017 I was privileged as a Churchill Fellow to travel from Australia to USA, Canada, Scotland and England to discover the insights of others as I set about to explore how innovation and collaboration can improve outcomes for people with eating disorders.
Not only was I poised to gain new insights of my own, but also to gather insights of others gained from their years of experience as professionals, volunteers, parents and clients of the eating disorders service system.
EDV is seeking a part-time (0.6EFT three days a week) Communications and Marketing Officer who is responsible for using a range of online communications and marketing tools to support the current strategic plan, promote EDV services and support the Communications Manager in day-to-day activities.
EDV is excitied to announce that we will be hosting June Alexander to hold an all day therapeutic writing workshop. Join us, as June will teach you how to explore the benefits of writing and how it can help in your recovery from an eating disorder.
The Peer Mentoring Program (PMP) has been developed in partnership with Eating Disorders Victoria and Austin Health (Body image and eating disorders treatment and recovery service – BETRS).
The program is the only program of its kind for eating disorders patients in Victoria, and Australia-wide. The program involves a mentor who has themselves recovered from an eating disorder, who is matched with a participant who is currently living with an eating disorder and trying to recover from it. The participant can either be exiting hospital treatment or a current hospital in-patient.
Funding for the development, pilot and evaluation of this program has been provided by The Ian Potter Foundation, John T Reid Charitable Trusts and The William Buckland Foundation.
The peer mentoring program is designed to:
Provide hope to participants that recovery is possible
Reduce hospital readmission rates
Improve quality of life for participants and mentors (through mentors improving their capacity to support others)
What is a peer mentor?
Peer Mentoring can be defined as the help and support that people with lived experience of a mental illness are able to give one another. It is a relationship based on shared experince, wherea Mentor assists a participant’s recovery by focusing on strengths and developing skills to accomplish self-identified goals.
A Mentor provides valuable insight of someone with a lived experience, which is extremely valuable in the eyes of the participant. Often it is the unique relationship, unlike a friendship or clinical relationship, that in some ways can fill the gap between the two.
Quite often those in recovery have not met anyone who has recovered and as a result can find it challenging to believe it is possible.
How does the program work?
Participants are matched with an EDV mentor and meet on a fortnightly basis for 13 sessions. Each session can be up-to three hours at a time. The mentor supports the participant by working together to develop a recovery focused wellness plan. They then undertake the activities in the wellness plan together, to achieve identified goals - including engaging with community life and developing self-care.
The PMP has been running for 12 months. During this time the mentors and participants have participated in an external evaluation to determine outcomes of the program. To date there has been 21 participants matched with 14 participants and 141 sessions held.
Some of the great outcomes from the first program are-
100% of participants in the program all completed a ‘Wellness Plan’ which formed the structure for sessions and included support information and goals to work on.
Participants reported they liked the relaxed nature of the program, but felt reassured that there were parameters in place to help guide the relationship.
100% of participants showed improvements in their Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaires, especially in the areas of eating concern and shape concern.
60% showed improvements in coping skills and the ability to actively manage persistent symptoms and triggers.
72% of participants were not readmitted.
100% of mentors received training from SANE Australia to develop skills to respond to thoughts of suicide and self-harm.
100% of mentors found the program to be of benefit to their own recovery by allowing them to unpack aspects of their recovery and having access to a support team if issues arose. Mentors viewed the program as positive with regard to their own self-care and gaining perspective on how far they had come in their own recovery.
Below are some quotes from the Peer Mentors after completeing the program-
“I’ve never met a group like the other peer mentors before. I remember sitting there on the first day thinking, “Who ARE these people – they’re incredible!” It’s so hard to put into words. I’ve just never met such an inspiring bunch of empowering, amazing people my entire life. I was in awe, and I still am!”
“getting to use my lived experience, you know, past experiences that were quite negative and traumatic, and then being able to use it in a positive way”
“I felt like it just reminded me how lucky I am that I actually got through all of that, I was really unwell and I was not necessarily recovering in the greatest way”.
“Recovery is not perfect”
“Recovery is about being able to deal with those emotions without the coping strategy of ED. While the negative emotions might be big, so are the other positive ones.”
“My goal is to help you reach your goal”
“I was looking for a quick fix. I wanted to get better overnight. She said “that’s not going to happen, you need to accept that it’s going to take time.”
“It can get a bit overwhelming, having so many different treating team members and having to see so many different people and talk. It’s good to just be able to do something a bit more fun, and still be able to talk if that is what you need to do but in a less structured way.”
“I’ve never been more motivated to change”
Want to get involved?
We are currently only taking referrals from the Austin Hopsital eating disorder program at this stage, but watch this space for developments.
For many people who are recovering from an eating disorder or supporting a loved one through recovery, the time around Christmas and New Year may bring up some issues. For those working towards recovery or who are in recovery there is a possibility of relapse into old behaviours and thoughts, which can be upsetting.
We have come up with a holiday period toolkit to help you with what might be a difficult time.
Have a support person in place. Someone who is available to listen to you if you feel overwhelmed during this time. EDV is available if you would like help with planning some coping techniques in the lead up to the holiday season.
Be prepared. If you are travelling or not at home, take some resources that will support you while you're away – e.g. books, phone numbers or helpful websites.
Plan and discuss family visits and what may happen. You can think of what you might say and practice saying these out loud.
Think about and plan how you will take time out for yourself on days you know will be particularly stressful. Locking in some downtime or engaging in activities you may not have tried before is good self-care.
Tips for Celebrations (i.e., Christmas Day)
Big events may be particularly difficult, so try to keep this in mind. To minimise potential conflicts, it might be helpful to have conversations before events to establish expectations and boundaries for both you and your loved ones. Give yourself permission to experience your own emotions on the day. Remember you don't have to be happy all the time - no one expects it. It’s also okay to step out and give yourself 'time out' from situations if necessary. Before the day discuss what food will be served at an event, if appropriate you may want to bring your own food to share.
Tips for family and friends
Try not to monitor anyone’s eating too heavily, this may make them feel self-conscious and cause conflict. It’s also good to avoid comments on the quantity of food they have eaten and deflect others from talking about overeating too.
What if I relapse?
Relapsing is normal. Recovery from an eating disorder means addressing many deep habitual patterns and learning different strategies to manage difficult situations.
Treat the ‘lapse’ as a great opportunity to learn. It may enable you to explore what triggered the change in your recovery journey, and how you might adapt the skills you have already learned, and acquire new ones, to get back on track with your recovery with newfound skills under your belt.
Take some time to celebrate what is important for you. Acknowledge your strengths and all that you have achieved and will achieve. Speak kindly to yourself and be your own cheerleader to continue your own recovery.
Remember your support networks
While this can be a busy time for some, for others it can be quite lonely. There are support networks available for you during this time if you need it.
The EDV Helpline is available to support both individuals and family and friends in the lead up to the festive season. If you are having a bad day or simply want to share your thoughts and experiences with someone who understands, call the Helpline on 1300 550 236 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note EDV is closed from 5pm Friday 22 December, and will reopen 9am Monday 8 January.
Below are support services available over the holiday period:
SuicideLine – 1300 651 251
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Emergency Services - 000
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
Butterfly Foundation Helpline -1800 334 673 – closed on public holidays
Are you looking for something to do over Summer?
Do you want to learn more about body image?
Do you want to hang out and meet new people?
If you are aged between 14-18 years old, then this may be the program for you!
WHEN: Wednesdays in January (10, 17 and 24) TIME: 11am-1:30pm WHERE: Eating Disorders Victoria Level 2, Collingwood Football Club Community Centre, Abbotsford COST: $45 per person (resources and snacks provided) CONTACT: email@example.com