Hospital help for teen food disorders
THE treatment of eating disorders in teens has received a major boost with the launch of a new adolescent inpatient unit at St Patrick's University Hospital in Dublin.
The new unit which was recently launched will cater for adolescents with a range of mental health problems including anxiety difficulties and depression.
Paul Gilligan, CEO of St Patrick's, said that around half the beds may be used to treat eating disorders.
However, he pointed out: "This is a general adolescent mental health service so we will be dealing with the full range of adolescent mental health difficulties."
In relation to eating disorders, he said: "The research would suggest, and the voluntary agencies working in the area, their experiences would support the fact that there has been an increase in the numbers suffering from eating disorders."
The new adolescent unit gives the opportunity to provide specialist eating disorder input in a residential inpatient facility and also link that with a range of community and day services.
The new development means that St Patrick's now has one of the biggest adolescent inpatient units in Dublin.
"We feel that 14 was the optimum number of beds," he said.