By Guy Page
Kudos to Cat Viglienzoni of WCAX for her eye-opening March 24 report on Vermont’s inadequate response to a steep increase in teenage eating disorders (“Does Vermont have enough eating disorder treatment for youth?”).
Eating disorders may be a joke to late-night talk show hosts, but they’re living hell for teenage sufferers and their parents. Viglienzoni reports:
- Hospital admissions for eating disorders in Vermont have climbed over 50% between 2016 and 2019.
- Since March 2020, the number of people served by a New England eating disorder advocacy group has climbed 700% – with 25% coming from Vermont alone.
- Ultra-thin online influencers, unknown to most adults but patronized by millions of teenage girls, present an image that is at once highly desirable and impossible to achieve.
Furthermore the State of Vermont is a day late and a dollar (well, many dollars) short in its treatment options. Although renowned for its ‘wrap-around’ services for other complex mental health/emotional/family issues, the state offers insufficient at-home (nutrition, therapy, counseling) or residential services to meet the growing need.
One Vermont social worker calls it “a big hole in care.”
That leaves Vermont parents watching their child (usually a daughter) becoming thinner and thinner and refusing to eat enough with one other treatment option: seeking expensive out-of-state residential treatment. Even that option requires months on a waiting list.
Watch the entire report here.
Categories: Health Care