Media release – November 12, 2008
National government needs to address serious eating disorder addiction rates among young women – says Serenity Clinic
The new John Key government needs to address the serious concerns relating to bright young women with eating disorders,
a leading new private health addiction treatment clinic said today.
Serenity Clinic in Auckland opened its door a little over two months ago and they immediately found a heavy demand for
middle-class women desperately needing treatment for eating disorder addictions.
``One can only hope that the incoming government will work harder to provide services for these desperate young
intelligent woman,’’ Serenity Clinic spokesman Murdoch (his only name) said today.
``For now, there are not many beds at Serenity Clinic reserved for eating disorders. But the Serenity Charitable Trust
will open early next year and treat many more clients. However even 30 more beds would still be a distant cry from what
is currently needed in this country,’’ he said.
Murdoch has resigned as general manager to take up his new role as general manger for the Serenity Charitable Trust.
Eighty percent of Serenity client inquires are women and of these nearly 70 percent have eating disorders and need
help, he said. Currently, there is only one another place in New Zealand where these middle class clients can find
treatment however Serenity is the only place offering a special holistic approach.
The 2006 NZ mental health survey found 1.7 per cent of the population – or 68,000 people - will develop an eating
disorder sometime in their life time. Bulimia is twice as common as anorexia. Women represent about 90 percent and males
10 percent of all eating disorders. About 20 per cent never recover.
The Eating Disorder Foundation of Australia believes up to 5 per cent of all Australian women suffer from an eating
The average age for the onset of an eating disorder is 17 years, although the age of people getting anorexia appears to
be dropping with cases being diagnosed in girls as young as 10 years.
Bulimia usually affects women in their late teens and 20's. Amongst 15-24yr old females, anorexia and bulimia are the
third most common chronic illnesses after asthma and obesity.
Serenity Clinic opened in late August because of a growing need in New Zealand to help people with drug, alcohol and
gambling addiction problems.
Experts have backed the new clinic to treat people with drug, alcohol, gambling and eating addictions. Waitakere mayor
Bob Harvey has also endorsed the clinic opening in his district. The clinic is spread over a number of properties in