Eating Disorders Programs

Eating disorders lead to unhealthy eating habits that may be characterised by obsession with food, body weight and body shape. Individuals with an eating disorder may display a number of symptoms and these are most commonly purging behaviours, over-exercising, restricting food intake and food binges.

The Geelong Clinic runs two 40-day inpatient programs – LEAP and PREP (see below for further information).

Who are the programs for?

The Eating Disorders Inpatient Programs are specifically designed to assist patients to progress from the acute stage of illness to a level where they can monitor and manage themselves, with support and help from the treating team.

How will they help me?

These specialised programs provide a safe and trusting environment to foster the restoration of health, whilst exploring the underlying psychological issues that accompany the illness. The evidence based programs incorporate nutrition education, emotion regulation, cognitive behavioural therapy and creative arts therapies.

Dietitians work with participants to organise the nutritional component of the programs with an emphasis on improving nutritional status and developing a peaceful relationship with food. An individualised eating plan will be developed on admission and will be reviewed regularly with meals being supervised by qualified nursing staff.

More about each program

LEAP is an 8-bed, 40 day inpatient unit. The program is overseen by psychiatrist, Dr Peter O’Keefe who specialises in the treatment of eating disorders.

LEAP supports patients to begin the process of recovery from an eating disorder and learn new skills to replace eating disorder behaviours.

Often, but not always, patients admitted to LEAP will need support in weight restoration.

In LEAP, all meals and snacks are prepared by the hospital and patients are supported during their meals. Patients are expected to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks per day.

Both group and individual therapy is provided to the patients in LEAP.

For LEAP, the program's emblem is a turtle helping to remind patients during their recovery process that's not the size of the step that counts, it is the direction.

PREP is a five-bed, 40 day inpatient unit. The program is overseen by psychiatrist, Dr Russell Golden who specialises in the treatment of eating disorders.

PREP supports those who have already begun their journey of recovery and helps consolidate skills in replacing eating disorder behaviours with a greater sense of autonomy and self-directedness. PREP also focuses on supporting patients learn new life skills to help move toward living a more fulfilled life.

PREP is for those who are ready to take on more responsibility as they move towards recovery. This will include assistance in challenging themselves with tasks designed to expand their ability to budget, shop, prepare, cook and eat food.

Treatment will be tailored to the individual and their particular vulnerabilities and strengths with an emphasis on the whole person and their unique history.

In PREP, some meals and snacks are prepared by the hospital and others are prepared by the patient as part of their therapy. Patients are expected to eat three meals and three snacks per day.

Both group and individual therapy will be provided to the patients in PREP.

Building blocks are the symbol for our program, representing the process of recovery as a creative work in progress assembled piece by piece, taking shape over time.

Specific considerations

  • ·Most participants will be expected to eat hospital food as per their eating plan
  • The programs incorporate general guidelines for eating behaviour and food choices
    • For example, there are no low fat or diet products used on the unit and chewing gum, lollies, soft drinks and artificial sweeteners are not permitted.
  • Specific food requirements like vegetarian eating or allergies usually need to have pre-existed the eating disorder or be medically confirmed
  • Vegan diets are not supported as it has a restricted range of foods and may be extremely bulky.

It can be difficult for the patient to eat large amounts of food during re-feeding in order to meet nutritional requirements. We advise that patients restore their health through eating a wide variety of nutritious foods. When recovered patients can return to veganism however, we recommend they consult an Accredited Practicing Dietitian to ensure their nutritional requirements are met.

When do the programs run?

The inpatient eating disorders programs run on an ongoing basis. The length of each program is 40 days, with discharge planning commencing from admission to promote a recovery focused admission.

How do I access the program?

Admission to an Inpatient Program requires a referral from a Geelong Clinic accredited psychiatrist.

Your GP can refer you for an initial consultation by addressing a referral to ‘Dear Doctor’, or to one of our accredited psychiatrists.

Your referral should be faxed to Intake on 03 5240 0799.

  • Please click HERE for our Specialist Directory.
  • Please click HERE for further details on the referral process.

How much does it cost?

All referrals are subject to a health fund check prior to admission or commencing a program.

Your inpatient stay is generally covered by private health insurance or by Workcover, DVA and TAC. Self-funding is also an option.

Our Patient Services Staff will be pleased to answer any questions you may have in relation to cost. Please call us on (03) 5240 0741 to discuss your options.

More information?

  • Eating Disorders Day Program (RISE) - Click HERE to download brochure
  • Addictive Behaviours Program - Click HERE
  • Electro-convulsive Therapy (ECT) - Click HERE
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Program - Click HERE
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) - Click HERE

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