Eating Disorders

Links to resources and support groups and services in Singapore.

See Also
AWARE’s FAQ on Eating Disorders
Body Image | Project Skin Deep

Currently, AWARE does not specialize in the treatment and advocacy of eating disorders although we do provide general counseling for women or girls in need of support. However, there are other organizations and establishments that do focus or specialize in such disorders, as listed below.

Websites

Health Promotion Board: Eating Disorders

The website talks about the alarming increase in eating disorder cases in Singapore during the last several years, explains what an eating disorder is and the different types of eating disorders. It gives tips on how to prevent eating disorders and methods of treatment.

Olive Tree: Eating Disorders Symptoms and Treatment
The page is a good resource for information about eating disorders including descriptions and risk factors. However the support services that they provide is only available to employees of companies subscribing to their Employee Assistance Programme.

 

Support

Singapore Association for Mental Health : 1800-283 7019

Support for Eating Disorders Singapore (SEDS)

This is a support group for people who have recovered or are recovering from eating disorders as well as their caregivers. It also aims to educate the public about eating disorders so as to de-stigmatise the illness and encourage early treatment and advocacy. No referral or prior registration is required and persons with eating disorders and their supporters are welcome to attend the monthly meetings and be on the emailing list.

The group meets every first Thursday of the month, from 7-8.30pm at the SGH Life Centre, Bowyer Block A (Clock Tower) Level 1, Singapore General Hospital.

SAMH Toll-Free Helpline :
1-800-283 7019 (9.00am-1.00pm, 2.00-6.00pm, Mon-Fri, except holidays)

 

Other Resources

Not Just Surface Damage
A compilation of stories by survivors of eating disorders in Singapore. Wonderfully written and designed.

Something Fishy
Dedicated to raising awareness and providing support to people with Eating Disorders, and their loved-ones…

 

Research Papers and Abstracts

NUS Medicine:
Eating Disorders – An Asian Perspective
(2004)

The paper first states a typical example of a young, well-behaved girl who became seriously anorexic due to peer pressure and ended up in hospital. Then, the paper mentions the prevalence of eating disorders due to poor body image and an unhealthy desire for thinness in both East and West. Industrialization, modernization, westernization and increasing affluence are invariably linked to the prevalence of eating disorders. The causes of eating disorders are, though unknown, likely to be multifactorial. The paper mentions how to tell if someone is anorexic or bulimic. No ideal treatment has emerged for anorexia but antidepressants etc are effective for bulimia. Some predict an ‘epidemic’ of eating disorders in Asia in the future.
Singapore Medical Journal (SMJ)

Eating disorders in Singapore: coming of age (2005)
An introduction to 3 papers on Eating Disorders:

SMJ: Anorexia nervosa in Singapore:
an eight-year retrospective study
(2005)
The paper studies the clinical characteristics and features of anorexia nervosa patients in Singapore and compares the clinical features of the early versus the classical later-onset cases. The study uses 126 anorexia nervosa cases, most of whom were female and of all three major races, between 1994 and 2002.

SMJ: Prevalence and profile of females at risk of eating disorders in Singapore (2006)
This is an article based on a research done by the author in collaboration with NUS and IMH on the prevalence of eating disorders in Singapore. The study noted that Malay girls had an increased risk of ED.

Eating disorders in Singapore: A review (2003)
The psychopathology of eating disorders in Singapore is very similar to that described in the Western literature, and in the two main current classification systems. Body dissatisfaction is prevalent among Singaporean Chinese schoolgirls and female undergraduates, with rates not dissimilar to the West. There is a link between ‘Westernisation’ (based on English being spoken as the main language at home) and body dissatisfaction.

Eating disorders mental health literacy in Singapore (2010)
Aspects of the eating disorders mental health literacy of young Singaporean women may be conducive to low or inappropriate treatment seeking. Health promotion programmes need to target not only at-risk individuals, but also their family members and social circle.

 

Treatment Clinics

These listings in no way constitute a recommendation of their services. The links are provided for info only.

Eating Disorders Programme at SGH - +65 6321 4377

It is a dedicated treatment programme for the management of eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-Eating Disorder. The programme addresses the physical and psychosocial problems commonly associated with eating disorders through a holistic approach. You can contact the centre at eatingdisorders@sgh.com.sg.

Mount Elizabeth-Charter: 1-800-6738 9595

Facts About Eating Disorders

The document lists symptoms of eating disorders and ways to treat them. It is added that if you know someone whom you suspect has an eating disorder, simply call 1-800-6738 9595. Mount Elizabeth-Charter Behavioural Health Services is a private psychiatric and behavioural care service at Mount Elizabeth Hospital. The document states that Mount Elizabeth Hospital offers confidential assessments at no cost or obligation.

Dr. Tommy Tan - Novena Psychiatry Clinic - 6397 2688

Dr. Tan is a forensic psychiatrist who has done extensive work in the different aspects of the mind. He is a consultant at IMH and the National University Hospital. He has also done work att the University of London. Though not stated on his website, he does treat eating disorders.

This list was compiled with the help of Iris, Maitte and Shagunee.