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Clinics & services

Adolescent & child eating disorders

Specialist Eating Disorders Service for young people (inpatient care)

We care for and treat young people with eating disorders who require a hospital stay to restore their physical health, improve psychological wellbeing, and optimise family and school functioning.

About us

The Austin Health paediatric ward (Ward 2 west) is open to young people under the age of 18 with eating disorders who need medical care in hospital.

Eating disorders are serious mental health illnesses. Young people with eating disorders have extreme concerns about weight, shape, body image and eating. These concerns lead to disordered and unhealthy patterns of behaviour, including restricting food intake, fasting, counting calories, vomiting, laxative abuse, and overexercise. These behaviours greatly affect a person’s physical, psychological and social functioning.

Malnutrition from starvation can cause many complications. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to lifelong risks of infertility and osteoporosis.

Eating disorders affect males and females of all ages, of all socio-economic backgrounds, and of all shapes and sizes.

The aims of admission are:

  • To help achieve a level of health that allows you to return to home and school safely
  • To educate you and your family about your illness
  • To link you and your family with a community treatmenr team

Parents of patients under 13 years old are welcome to spend the first night with their child to help them settle in.

What to expect

  • Supportive nursing, specialised dieticians, doctors and mental health specialists
  • Individualised meal planning 
  • A ward-based school program and school holiday program
  • Family and carer education and support
  • Linking with appropriate supports in the community 


For young people or their families and carers 

See your GP or other health professional who will help determine if you need to come to hospital or be referred for community support.

For community support

There are range of community supports for young people with eating disorders both within and outside of Austin Health.

Community support within Austin Health

For community support within Austin Health, contact our Mental Health triage 1300 859 789. This is a 24 hour number

You may also be asked for a referral from your GP, or specialist health care provider. If it is urgent, you can present via the Emergency Department.

Eating Disorders Victoria

Outside of Austin health, Eating Disorders Victoria is a good resource and support. They can be contacted via the Eating Disorders Victoria website or by calling 1300 550 236

For health professionals

Contact our Mental Health triage 1300 859 789

Alternatively, you can return the Specialist Eating Disorders Service referral form

Fax: 03 9496 6926

Contact us

For information about our paediatric ward (Ward 2 west), call Austin Health on 9496 5000 and request to be directed to the Paediatric Liaison Nurses. They are available Monday to Friday 7.30am to 4pm.