Young people can now benefit from intensive support to help reduce the physical and psychological impacts of an eating disorder at a new specialist day treatment centre run by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).
The Lighthouse Centre, which opened on the Hellesdon Hospital site in Norwich in late June, provides intensive treatment for young people aged between 11 and 18.
Staff at the centre work with young people and their families to provide a combination of therapeutic family, individual and group work, education and practical support, including meal coaching.
Young people attend group sessions to work through common issues such as perfectionism, anxiety, difficulties managing change, rigid thinking patterns and emotional over-regulation. One-to-one nursing and psychological interventions, along with family therapy and carer support, are available to help parents and carers understand how to offer support to their loved ones at home while improving relationships and wellbeing.
The team at the centre can care for up to 10 young people from across Norfolk and Waveney at a time and take referrals from NSFT’s community eating disorder teams. Their aim is to help young people manage and improve their condition at home while reducing the need for them to be admitted to an inpatient unit.
Tania Pombeiro, Family Psychotherapist and Clinical Lead for the service, said: “We are delighted to have opened our doors and look forward to working with our first service users closely over the coming weeks to make a positive difference to their lives.
“Our aim is not for young people to achieve full recovery in the weeks they are with us, but to help them overcome some of the obstacles they may be facing so that they can continue their treatment in the community. We are there to help them restore balance, develop positive relationships and regain quality of life while making sure they stay connected with their family and friends.
“Young people will come to the unit for between four and 12 weeks, depending on their individual needs and treatment goals. They will be offered a wide range of tailored interventions, while their families and carers will be given support and education to help them care for their child at home.
“We want to make sure the centre fully meets the needs of our young people, so made sure that service users and their families were fully involved as we planned and designed the building, as well as in shaping the services which we provide.”
For more information about the centre, visit www.nsft.nhs.uk/search/service/lighthouse-centre-149