The first meeting of the Statewide Eating Disorder Service (SEDS) oversight committee took place yesterday.
The progression of the project is an exciting milestone for the development which has been five years in the making.
The committee includes representatives from Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation, SA Health, Cheesman Architects, leading eating disorder researchers and importantly, those with lived experiences.
The committee set the scope of the project, establishing timelines and finalising the design of the building.
“Not only will this centre provide the best evidenced-based treatment, but the inclusion of a new dedicated research space will allow researchers to tackle eating disorders from every angle and really make strides in stopping this disease, which has for too long been so devastating for sufferers and their families,” Breakthrough Executive Director John Mannion said.
The date of the meeting, September 29, was particularly poignant, as it was the five year anniversary of Lauren Corena’s death.
Lauren took her own life at the age of 26 after years of battling mental health issues, including an eating disorder.
Her family have generously donated to Breakthrough to establish a PhD top up scholarship in Lauren’s name. Her father Mario, who is also on the committee, said a research scholarship was one of the best ways he could think to keep her spirit alive.
Eating disorders are a life-threatening condition affecting more than one million Australians, which is why the SEDS building and continued research is vital.