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Immediate Care in the Community

Urgent community care may be required

If a person needs urgent medical attention, but cannot access inpatient care, then frequent medical monitoring in the community is imperative.

Here is what you need to consider when caring for an at-risk person in the community: 

  • Ensure that an appropriate treatment team is in place: 
  • Set up a case conference with the team, as indicated  Develop an escalation plan  Liaise with local specialist service - let them know what you can and cannot manage 



  • Provide helplines:
  • Lifeline 13 11 14 (crisis support)  Butterfly’s National Helpline 1800 33 4673 (eating disorder information, counselling and treatment referral)  Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800 (online and phone counselling for 5-25yo) 
  • Psychoeducation and resources for the individual and their family:

Consider medications:

  • SSRIs may be beneficial in the treatment of co-occurring depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. 
  • Low dose of olanzepine may be helpful in anorexia nervosa, when patients are severely anxious and demonstrate obsessive eating-related ruminations 

Psychiatrist Prof. Janice Russell explains some of the medications that may be used to help treat eating disorder symptoms.

  • Ensure that practical supports are available to the person (i.e. family, carers) 


  • Ensure that meal support is being provided by family, carers or friends:

Psychiatrist Prof. Janice Russell provides some guidance on how to refeed a person in the community, if inpatient care can not be accessed.

  • Provide a meal plan: