As the prevalence of eating disorders rises, access to evidence-based practices (EBP) is dangerously limited. Only 20-57% of people with eating disorders ever receive treatment. Barriers to care include stigma associated with eating disorders, limited availability of eating disorder specialists, the prohibitive cost of care, and poor mental health literacy by healthcare providers and the general public.
There is a lot of misinformation on the internet, and it is difficult for the general public to evaluate the quality of available resources. In addition, physicians report limited knowledge about and comfort with treating eating disorders.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded $3.75 million to Dr. Christine Peat and her team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to develop a training center for eating disorder-related education. Dr. Peat, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, clinical instructor in the Department of Neurosurgery, and licensed psychologist in the state of North Carolina, specializes in working with college students and adults who are seeking outpatient therapy for eating disorders.
The SAMHSA funding, to be awarded over a five-year period, will support a partnership between 3C Institute and Dr. Peat’s team to develop the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (NCEED). NCEED is an interactive web-based program that 1) delivers high quality training in EBP for healthcare providers from a range of disciplines who are engaged in the treatment of eating disorders and 2) becomes the national resource for eating disorder literacy.