For crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14, MH Call 1300 642 255 or in an emergency call 000


Eating disorders

Outpatient services for children and adolescents

Services delivered by a hospital to a child or adolescent who is not admitted to the hospital as an inpatient

What is it?

Outpatient services involve care provided within a hospital or medical clinic setting that doesn’t require a hospital admission. They often involve attending scheduled appointments, group activities and/or ‘day programs’.

Outpatient services for children and adolescents are delivered through the Eating Disorders Program (EDP), a specialist multidisciplinary eating disorder service that is part of the broader Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) service network within Children’s Health Queensland (CHQ).

The EDP supports children and adolescents up to the age of 18 where the primary diagnosis is an eating disorder.

What can someone expect?

Outpatient services can support you to work toward your recovery goals and are available through the Eating Disorders Program (EDP) which is part of CYMHS CHQ HHS (Child and Youth Mental Health Service Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and health Service).

Outpatient services for children and adolescents generally involve multidisciplinary support from a team of allied health professionals (e.g. psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists) and nursing, medical and administrative staff. Types of support you might receive through an outpatient service include:

  • assessment
  • development of a recovery-oriented treatment plan to address eating disorder symptoms and relapse risk factors
  • family-based treatment (the Maudsley Model)
  • cognitive behavioural therapy for eating disorders (CBT-E)
  • a specialist day program for eating disorders (offered statewide)
  • referral and advocacy
  • emotion-focused skills groups (EFST) for carers
  • multi-family therapy (MFT)
  • attachment-based family therapy (ABFT)
  • complex case reviews to local CYMHS services throughout Queensland and second opinions for clients of CYMHS statewide
  • limited FBT and CBT-E treatment via telehealth (statewide)
  • carer support as part of your treatment model.

You will need to be referred by your healthcare provider (e.g. GP, paediatrician, psychiatrist, mental health service) before you can access the EDP (or day program).

After you’ve been referred, you’ll be offered an appointment for a comprehensive assessment. You and your parents/carer will need to attend this first appointment together to talk about your situation and identify your needs.

The appointment may involve a physical assessment, which involves taking your blood pressure and pulse, weight and height measurements, and having an ECG (electrical tracing of heart rhythm). You may also need a blood test.

At the end of the assessment, which may occur over multiple appointments, the team will discuss your treatment options with you and your family/carer. These treatment options may be within or outside of the EDP.

If you are accepted into the EDP, you will be allocated a ‘case manager’ who will be your and your family/carer’s point of contact with the program. Usually, this is the same person throughout your time with the service, so you’ll always know who to ask for if you ring.

You will be required to regularly see your usual GP alongside the EDP. The EDP team will regularly liaise with your GP.

There is no cost to access public outpatient services.

Who is this for?

Outpatient services may be suitable if you’re 18 years or younger and working towards your recovery goals.

Accessing a service tailored for children and adolescents can make treatment more welcoming, engaging and appropriate for your age.

How can someone access it?

You’ll need a referral from your healthcare provider before you can access outpatient services through EDP.

Referrals into the EDP are accepted from mental health services, private psychiatrists, GPs, paediatricians and other medical specialists. Further information about the EDP is available on the CHQ website.

Families are welcome to contact the eating disorders team directly, however all children and young people will be redirected to a medical specialist for medical assessment in the first instance as the recommended first response to a suspected eating disorder.

If you would like to view the admission guidelines for children and adolescents to acute mental health inpatient units, please click here.

    My Mental Health

    We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia, their diversity, histories and knowledge and their continuing connections to land, waterways and culture. We pay our respect to all Australian Indigenous Peoples and their cultures, and to Elders of past, present and future generations.

    Brisbane North PHN wishes to acknowledge the experience and expertise of the My Mental Health Steering Committee, delegates of the Peer Participation in Mental Health Services (PPIMS) network and health professionals in developing the My Mental Health Website.

    Operated by Brisbane North PHN Website by NWO