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Parents of children and young people with eating disorders need help too

(Vienna, 14th September 2015) Approximately 200,000 Austrians suffer from an eating disorder at some time in their lives; one woman in fifteen will be affected in the course of her life. Around one per cent of all young girls suffer from anorexia or bulimia. This equates to at least 2,500 young Austrian women aged between 15 and 20. It is not only the children and young people themselves who suffer, however. The stress results in many parents developing conditions such as depression or anxiety. Parents’ actions can also contribute to the persistence of symptoms in young people.
It was to give parents positive strategies for dealing with children with eating disorders, and to support them in their everyday therapy, that MedUni Vienna set up the SUCCEAT project (Supporting Carers of Children and Adolescents with Eating Disorders in Austria) exactly a year ago.
“Eating disorders are a huge challenge to the whole family. Parents and relatives often feel burdened, helpless and overwhelmed in dealing with young sufferers,” says Andreas Karwautz, head of the Eating Disorders Unit at the University Clinic of Neuropsychiatry of Childhood and Adolescence, part of the MedUni Vienna.
During the programme, parents and relatives are offered an email-based online self-help course, or a three-month workshop. These are open to relatives of children and young people suffering from anorexia or bulimia. The family members are given information and learn to offer support aimed at aiding the patients’ recovery and reducing their own stress.
“It is often particularly important to help those concerned to expand their horizons, to prevent all their thoughts and conversations from revolving around eating and food,” explains Gudrun Wagner of the University Clinic of Neuropsychiatry of Childhood and Adolescence.

The SUCCEAT programme is free of charge. Participants can register via, while questions about the programme can be sent to:
Event: 21st Annual Meeting of the Eating Disorders Research Society

The international Eating Disorders Research Society meets in Taormina (Sicily) from 17 to 19 September 2015. Andreas Karwautz, who is also President of the Austrian Society for Child and Youth Psychiatry (ÖGKJP) until 2016, and Gudrun Wagner are both speaking at this event.
For more information, see:

Event: 23rd International "Eating Disorders Alpbach" Conference

Austria’s biggest international eating disorders conference will take place from 15-17 October in Alpbach. For more information, see:  Info: