Butterfly Foundation's annual MAYDAYS campaign is now well under way, running until June 30.
'Pushing Past Postcodes' aims to improve awareness of eating disorders and raise much-needed funds to support our work as the national charity for people with eating disorders and their loved ones.
Readers may not know that one million people are affected by an eating disorder in any given year, and around 280,000 of these people live in regional, remote and very remote areas.
While the stereotype of someone with an eating disorder is a young woman, the reality is that eating disorders do not discriminate - by age, location, or other characteristics. Tarsh, a mum from rural Victoria who features in our campaign, developed an eating disorder in her 30s. She struggled to navigate the system to access care and support when she needed it.
Our national survey shows that people with eating disorders living outside of urban areas are doing it tough right now. Access to services is particular concern, with 94 per cent of people in regional and rural areas believing that where they live is an obstacle to getting help, and four in five having incurred significant costs to receive treatment.
Almost two-thirds of those in regional and remote areas reported that COVID-19 had impacted their ability to seek treatment or support.
We are seeing the impact of the pandemic in significantly increased demand for our free National Helpline service (1800 ED HOPE). During the last two months webchat contacts to our Helpline have more than doubled due to COVID-19 and are up 90 per cent from this time last year.
You can find out more about our campaign here: https://butterfly.org.au/MAYDAYS. For counselling, advice or referral, please contact us on 1800 33 4673 from 8am-Midnight (AEST), 7 days a week.
Join us this MAYDAYS in our pursuit of #PushingPastPostcodes, and let's break down the barriers for those living in regional, remote and very remote locations.