Fund a life saving 24-hour Support Line for Eating Disorders sufferers
  • Petitioned Minister for Mental Health

This petition was delivered to:

Minister for Mental Health

Fund a life saving 24-hour Support Line for Eating Disorders sufferers

    1. June  Alexander
    2. Petition by

      June Alexander

      Blackburn, Australia

I developed anorexia nervosa after my 11th birthday. I lived with it and bulimia for over 40 years, struggling through phases of depression, self-harm and anxiety. Doctors and my family were telling me to "grow up", and wished I would be more like other girls in our town.

I know first-hand how gruelling eating disorders can be to live with, and the struggle involved in recovering and regaining your life. I know just how important it is to have urgent access to expert advice and support, when you hit those really low points. It was such professional support that helped save my life. 

The massive contribution that professional help has made to my life is why I'm so concerned that in Australia there is still no 24/7 crisis support line to help men and women suffering from eating disorders. Often, the most challenging times are evenings, weekends and public holidays - but the current national Butterfly Foundation support line is only available during east coast office hours, Monday to Friday.

Eating disorders are now so prevalent that almost 1 in 10 Australians have been diagnosed. The risk of premature death for women with Anorexia Nervosa is up to twelve times higher than for the general population. Medical complications and suicide have been the main causes of premature death in ED sufferers, and 1 in 5 people with Anorexia Nervosa, who die prematurely, commit suicide1.

Please sign my petition, and join me in calling on the Federal Government and the Minister for Mental Health, Mark Butler, to urgently help make Butterfly’s crisis support line available to all Australians when they need it.

It's desperately needed to help prevent suffering: 

     “I'm struggling to stay on track... It's a vicious circle. I know I need to come clean and tell my psych and dietician, but, being Christmas, they are on holidays and I’m too scared to tell my husband. I’m also taking laxatives and diet pills. I don’t know how to stop and I can’t contact any professionals for three days. I’m depressed, out of control and very, very scared …” 

                                                                                                                   Bulimia sufferer

June Alexander (http://www.junealexander.com/)

 

The Butterfly Foundation support line is 1800 ED HOPE or 1800 33 4673.

1 http://www.nedc.com.au/eating-disorders-in-australia

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 2,000 signatures
    2. 1500 signatures - revealing the cost of silent suffering

      June  Alexander
      Petition Organizer

      I am overwhelmed by the strength of the response to this petition. More than 1500 signatures, and now we are aiming for 2500. And I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands of people are affected by an eating disorder and in need of a 24-hour support line. Minister for Mental Health, Mr Mark Butler - I ask you to weigh up the cost of funding a 24-hour support line against the cost of out-of-control eating disorders. If there is one thing that I know from four decades of living with an eating disorder, it is that early intervention is crucial - whether as a child or adolescent developing the illness, or as an adult, on the verge of relapse. Miss that crucial early moment when you are aware that something is not quite right, and something tells you to reach out to someone you know you can trust, for reassurance and guidance - miss that moment, and the downward spiral into ED's dark depths can be swift and cataclysmic. Sign the petition, and help us pressure the government!

    3. Reached 1,500 signatures
    4. More than 500 signatures - Mr Butler, are you listening?

      June  Alexander
      Petition Organizer

      More than 500 signatures are on our petition asking Minister for Mental Health, Mark Butler, to fund a life saving 24-hour Support Line for Eating Disorders sufferers. This show of support indicates the great need for around-the-clock access to help sufferers overcome the torment of their eating disorder thoughts. I want to thank you so much making a stand for change. Our petition will remain open until Oct 04, 2012, allowing you and your supporters to continue to speak out to Minister Butler. We have yet to hear from him or his department. Let’s step up and demonstrate that we will not remain silent - let's aim for 1000 signatures!

    5. Reached 500 signatures
    6. Relapse: Phone call can make all the difference

      June  Alexander
      Petition Organizer

      A 24/7 helpline would be so wonderful because there's nothing anorexia does so well as make you feel alone. It doesn't help that many specialised ED services are so darned expensive. When I moved to Melbourne three years ago, I didn't get the counselling I needed because of the expense. No counselling resulted in a bad relapse and lots of expensive treatment anyway. A short phone call, even a daily phone call if needs be, may have made the difference between my staying moderately healthy and having a relapse. I'm sure it would make a difference for other sufferers, too.
      - Anonymous

    7. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Lisa kingman AUSTRALIA
      • about 2 years ago

      because it saves lives

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Geoff Ellis AUSTRALIA
      • about 2 years ago

      I would use this

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Simona Milos AUSTRALIA
      • about 2 years ago

      I went through an eating disorder and i think it's a necessity to have a support line for sufferers of the disease

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Nabil Elhage AUSTRALIA
      • about 2 years ago

      Support for Aneroxia sufferers and their helpers is needed 24x7 because the disease doesn't stop outside of office hours and support at all times is crucial to help the sufferer and their support network - especially the parents.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Patricia Jans CAULFIELD NORTH, AUSTRALIA
      • about 2 years ago

      We should help the mentally ill as much as we can...it is obvious.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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