Adolescents aged 12-18 years may be admitted to this unit at Akeso Milnerton, the first of its kind in the Western Cape private healthcare sector. It provides a specialist treatment programme for adolescents with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, common among teens. The treatment programme is specifically designed not only to address the individual’s immediate need for recovery, but also to provide them and their loved ones with a means of coping with the illness after discharge.
Adolescents need to have a full medical work-up done before admission, in order to establish that they are not a medical risk, and need to bring the relevant medical documents with them on the day of admission. The adolescent must also be accompanied by a caretaker on admission.
The unit is staffed with skilled nurses and dedicated healthcare professionals and offers inpatient treatment that is focused on developing self-esteem and a healthy body image through compassion-based behavioural approaches.
Programme in the adolescent eating disorders unit
As a participant in this programme, the adolescent will learn how to regulate emotions to cope with the stressors faced by young adults, without relying on pathological eating behaviours. The aims of the three-week inpatient programme include normalising eating behaviours, creating a healthy relationship with food, and challenging distorted beliefs around body image.
The multi-disciplinary treatment team of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists and specialist dieticians aims to help patients understand the underlying problem behind their eating disorder, to correct misperceptions about nutrition and weight management, and to facilitate healthy coping mechanisms for maintaining health and wellness after discharge. Great emphasis is placed on forging strong and dependable support systems through family therapy and outpatient support.