A well-known Auckland not-for-profit organisation is struggling to understand why the government won’t fund their work.
While most clinics under the DHB are funded, EDEN has been struggling to find resources to provide preventative services for those in need. EDEN co-ordinator Maree Burns says that the organisation is completely reliant on donations and grants from philanthropic trusts.
EDEN was invited to put forth a funding proposal last year but it was rejected in the early stages.
“It’s short-sighted to just put resources and funding into services for serious cases of disorded eating. We need resources and funding for early intervention. To help people when they recognise that they have an eating or body issue before they get really sick and need hospitalisation,” she says.
Courtney Sutherland, a university student and a former anorexia sufferer, thinks it is a “mistake” that EDEN is not funded by the government.
“It is shame preventative services such as EDEN aren’t funded. With more awareness and education it would have been easier for me to ask for help, rather than people thinking I was just ‘stupid’ or narcissistic,” she says.
No referral from a GP or hospital is needed to access counselling at EDEN.
Burns says, “We see people across the continuum, people don’t have to meet diagnostic criteria in order to access the service”.
As well as counselling those in need, EDEN works to provide education and health promotion in schools as part of their campaign to promote healthy eating patterns.
EDEN has two paid full-time counsellors and the rest of the organisation relies heavily on volunteers.
Burns says that volunteers are always in need, but the lack of resources means that getting the “volunteer situation” off the ground is difficult.
EDEN has just celebrated ‘Love Your Body Day’ this month. See their website here.