Demand for Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Care Prompts Eating Recovery Center Expansion
In response to an increasing demand for child and adolescent eating disorders care, Eating Recovery Center, an international center for eating disorders recovery, has expanded its Partial Hospitalization Program for Children and Adolescents. With the opening of a new facility in Denver’s Lowry neighborhood, this 11-hour-per-day, family-based treatment program will nearly triple current capacity. Eating Recovery Center’s child and adolescent programs, which provide inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment to boys and girls ages 10 through 17, have been in high demand since the Center opened its Behavioral Hospital for Children and Adolescents in January of 2011. The prevalence of eating disorders in adolescence and childhood has steadily increased in recent years. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, from 1999 to 2006, hospitalizations for eating disorders increased by 119 percent for children younger than 12 years. “The growing need for eating disorders treatment programs with specialized expertise in managing the therapeutic and medical needs of children, adolescents and families is apparent,” said Ovidio Bermudez, MD, FAAP, FSAHM, FAED, CEDS, medical director of child and adolescent services and chief medical officer of Eating Recovery Center. “The expansion of the Partial Hospitalization Program for Children and Adolescents enables Eating Recovery Center to address this trend by providing comprehensive treatment to a significantly larger number of patients and families.” Offering a critical stepping-stone in the eating disorders recovery process for young patients, the Partial Hospitalization Program enables patients and their families to participate in daily programming that emphasizes communication skills, relapse prevention strategies and healthy parent/child interactions. Through individual, group and family therapy and staff-supported meals, families begin to work toward returning to “life as usual” outside of their child’s structured eating disorders treatment environment. The overall focus is on recovery and well-being. Patients participate in a combination of individual, group and family therapy emphasizing recovery skills and the role of families in lasting recovery. They engage with a licensed teacher at Eating Recovery Center’s Learning Center in the afternoons to facilitate a seamless transition back to school following treatment. While their child is in treatment, parents and family members receive twice-a-day education lectures and participate in support groups. Multi-family groups and family meals are also embedded in the weekly schedule to foster a supportive community for patients and family members. “Our treatment philosophy recognizes the importance of family involvement, education and empowerment in the recovery process,” continued Dr. Bermudez. “Treatment programming acknowledges that many child and adolescent patients are too developmentally young to take full ownership of weight restoration, sustainable recovery skills and aftercare, and provides parents with tools to continue to facilitate recovery at home.” When patients are medically and psychiatrically stable, the structure and support of 24-hour care environment is not necessary and there is willingness and availability among both patient and parents to engage in intensive outpatient treatment, the Partial Hospitalization Program can be a meaningful starting point for families to begin the recovery process. Alternatively, patients can step down to this level of care from Eating Recovery Center’s inpatient and residential programs for children and adolescents. In the latter instance, continuity of care is a priority and patients will retain the same treatment team throughout their full course of treatment. The only privately owned licensed psychiatric hospital in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to treating eating disorders and providing all levels of care for adults, adolescents and children, Eating Recovery Center’s Denver-based facilities include the Behavioral Hospital for Adults, the Behavioral Hospital for Children and Adolescents, the Partial Hospitalization Program and Outpatient Services for Adults, and the Partial Hospitalization Program for Children and Adolescents. In addition, Eating Recovery Center, in partnership with Summit Eating Disorders and Outreach Program, offers Partial Hospitalization and Outpatient Services in northern California. For more information about eating disorders programs or to learn about Eating Recovery Center’s admissions process, visit www.EatingRecoveryCenter.com.