nib foundation to fund youth eating behaviour program

nib foundation announces its funding to support Quest for Life Foundation to deliver an intensive treatment program that aims to arrest the alarming increase in the number of young Australians being diagnosed with an eating disorder.

Currently in Australia, more than 900,000 people live with an eating disorder and Australian women are more likely to be diagnosed with an eating disorder in their lifetime than breast cancer. Without the appropriate support and services, that number is expected to rise to more than 1 million by 2022.

A $50,000 grant by nib foundation will enable Quest for Life to deliver the much-needed Nourishing the Spirit program to 25 participants at their retreat centre at Bundanoon in the New South Wales Southern Highlands.

Nourishing the Spirit is a five-day residential program for young men and women aged 18 to 30 years with eating behaviours including anorexia, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder or other specified feeding and eating disorders. The program will provide participants with the skills to develop a positive body image, enhance hope and help-seeking through education, awareness, practical exercise and strategies to overcome negative eating behaviours.

Petrea King, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Quest for Life Foundation, said it’s important to provide treatment programs for people living with eating behaviours.

“In 2007, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that eating disorders were amongst the most common reasons for the hospitalisation of adolescent women. While a 2012 report conducted by Deloittes Access Economics estimated that the total socio-economic cost of eating disorders in Australia was $69.7 billion. In addition, of all mental illnesses, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate and are the 12th leading cause of mental health hospitalisation costs within Australia,” Ms King said.

“These figures alone highlight the immediate and growing need for these services.

“We are delighted to have the support of nib foundation to assist us in delivering this pilot program. The residential aspect of the program will allow participants to focus on their own life without distraction and learn valuable life skills and strategies for healing and peace,” Ms King added.

nib foundation Chairman, Keith Lynch, said that he was delighted that the foundation’s funding would provide positive and sustained help for young people battling this mental health condition on a daily basis.

“Eating disorders are a serious mental health issue that require intensive treatment to reduce the risk of further health complications and hospitalisation, and increase the likelihood of a full recovery,” Mr Lynch said.

“The rate of diagnosis in both young men and women is alarming, but with the assistance and support from organisations like Quest for Life, we hope that many of these people can receive the appropriate treatment that will enable them to lead a happy and healthy life,” he added.

To be delivered from June 2014, the program is a collaboration between Quest for Life and highly experienced health professionals and therapists who are leaders in their field of working with young people with eating disorders.

“The collaboration combines more than 25 years’ experience working with people facing life’s challenges in a supportive and nurturing environment,” Ms King said.

If you know of someone who would benefit from this five-day residential retreat program please contact the Quest for Life centre on 1300 941 488 or visit for more information.