Teaching staff will be provided with more resources to support young people in an Australian first initiative to tackle disordered eating.

Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley today joined Member for Niddrie Ben Carroll to launch Food For Thought, a program developed by headspace, at Buckley Park College.

Food for Thought will help to support staff in secondary schools to be able to identify and respond to disordered eating, which can be an early indicator of an eating disorder.

It is estimated that 240,000 Victorians are living with a diagnosed eating disorder – and more than double that with an undiagnosed disorder. This initiative will focus on disordered eating rather than eating disorders themselves, empowering school staff to recognise the warning signs and allow families to act early.

Eating disorders are a key concern for young people, with the Mission Australia National Youth Survey reporting body image as one of the top three concerns for young people over the last eight years.

The Food for Thought program has already been trialled in 14 local government areas across the state, and staff from 87 schools have already received training.

Training will be available to key staff from every secondary school across Victoria, with online resources available for schools at www.foodforthought.org.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“Food for Thought is a great partnership which supports school staff to support young people.”

“Eating disorders can have a severe impact, especially for young people – by empowering staff to proactively identify issues they have the ability to save lives.”

Quote attributable for Member for Niddrie Ben Carroll

“This is a vital program that will support our local young people – thankyou to the staff at Buckley Park College for accessing these resources to be able to identify the signs and options to provide support.”