Site found for treatment centre

Dunedin lawyer Gerard DeCourcy and Recovered Living NZ director Kristie Amadio in Dunedin. PHOTO:...
Dunedin lawyer Gerard DeCourcy and Recovered Living NZ director Kristie Amadio in Dunedin. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Plans to establish a not-for-profit eating disorder treatment centre have moved much closer to reality through the purchase of a $1.1 million rural property.

The property is at Sefton, near Rangiora, but the project has strong Dunedin links.

Dunedin lawyer Gerard DeCourcy, chairs the Recovered Living NZ (RLNZ) Charitable Trust, which seeks to make recovery more affordable.

RLNZ director Kristie Amadio is also a Dunedin resident.

RLNZ recently bought a "fit-for-purpose, beautiful home", on 4.8ha, at Sefton.

This home had space for 12 clients, six in residential support and six in the day and partial programme.

RLNZ was bringing the first residential not-for-profit eating disorder treatment centre to New Zealand, and aimed to open its doors in mid-2022.

Ms Amadio was "really excited" to provide some additional services, given that existing services were "overwhelmed".

"We are humbled by the support and generosity that has been shown to us so far."

She wanted to make treatment affordable and accessible and was "seeking a further $400,000 for start-up and $1.2 million annually" to run the full programme.

An estimated 103,000 New Zealanders were struggling with an eating disorder.

These complex mental health conditions had the second-highest mortality rate of any psychological illness, and public system treatment options were limited.

Waiting lists were months long, and only the sickest received treatment, which was not long or comprehensive enough to support full recovery.

Eating disorders were "absolutely treatable conditions" but treatment took time.

Ms Amadio was an internationally recognised eating disorder treatment specialist, who had earlier struggled for 14 years with an eating disorder.


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