“Next Steps”: A Virtual Program for Eating Disorder Recovery

A new program from the Butterfly Foundation has launched which provides interim care after an inpatient treatment for an eating disorder. I got BingChat (a version of chatGPT) to summarise the program for you in this blog post.

If you or someone you know has been struggling with an eating disorder, you may be looking for ways to continue your recovery journey after leaving hospital or residential treatment. You may be feeling anxious about relapsing or losing the progress you have made. You may be wondering how to cope with the challenges of everyday life without falling back into old patterns.

That’s why the Butterfly Foundation are excited to introduce you to Next Steps, a virtual, intensive program that can provide you with interim care and support for your recovery. Next Steps is a free program for eligible Australians who have completed inpatient or residential treatment for an eating disorder. It offers a minimum of 3 hours of support per day, 3 days a week, for 8 weeks, via a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including:

  • Nurses
  • Dietitians
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Peer workers

Next Steps aims to help you maintain and consolidate the gains you have made in treatment, and to prevent relapse and readmission. It also provides support for your carers, who play a vital role in your recovery. Through Next Steps, you will receive:

  • Individual and group therapy sessions, using evidence-based approaches such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), and family-based therapy (FBT)
  • Nutrition education and counselling, to help you restore your physical health and develop a positive relationship with food
  • Medical monitoring and case conferencing, to ensure there is continuity and coordination in your treatment plan
  • Peer support and mentoring, to connect you with others who have lived experience of eating disorders and recovery
  • Carer education and skills training, to equip your carers with the knowledge and tools they need to support you effectively

Next Steps is a flexible and convenient program that you can access from anywhere in Australia, as long as you have a stable internet connection and a suitable device. You can self-refer to the program or be referred by your GP or psychiatrist. If you are self-referring, you will need to obtain medical clearance from your GP or psychiatrist, who will also need to complete a referral form supporting your application.

Next Steps is a program of the Butterfly Foundation, the leading national organisation for eating disorders and body image issues in Australia. The Butterfly Foundation also offers other free services and resources for anyone affected by eating disorders, such as:

  • Butterfly National Helpline 1800 ED HOPE, which provides phone, email, and web support and referral for individuals, carers, and professionals
  • Virtual and Webchat Support Groups, which are facilitated by trained peer workers or specialist counsellors, and are open to anyone over age 16 or 18 (depending on the group) from anywhere in Australia
  • Online Recovery Program, which is a self-guided, interactive program that helps you develop skills and strategies for recovery
  • Recovery Stories, which are inspiring and empowering stories from people who have recovered or are recovering from eating disorders

If you are interested in joining Next Steps or learning more about the program, please visit the Butterfly Foundation website or contact them at nextsteps@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au. You can also find out more about eating disorders and how to get help on their website.

Recovery from an eating disorder is possible, and you don’t have to do it alone. Next Steps is here to support you and your carers along the way. Take the next step today and join this amazing program! 🦋

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