$26m boost for child anorexia

A government funding boost is aiming to help child anorexics who might have otherwise had to travel to Australia for treatment.

The $26 million extra funding for eating disorders from the Ministry of Health has doubled the number of dedicated beds nationwide to 27.

Associate Health Minister Todd McClay says the government paid particular attention to expanding eating disorder services for children and young people.

Starship Hospital in Grafton will receive five more beds to help children under 16 who are medically compromised due to eating disorders.

The Thrive service, which has a facility in Parnell and caters to over 16-year-olds, will get nine more beds.

The extra funding will also boost training for clinicians, especially in the effective family-based treatment known as the Maudsley approach.

"This is crucial because many people suffering from this mental illness are very young," Mr McClay says.

"The international evidence is that they are better off with the active support of their families when they are going through such a deeply difficult time."

Mr McClay says without the extra funding many of the youngsters would have ended up going to Sydney for treatment due to a lack of services here.

If you would like to talk to someone about eating disorders phone 0800 2 EDANZ.

Auckland City Harbour News