Ireland Eating Disorder Treatment Information & Resources

Woman standing on the beach with arms wide open showing freedomThere are many valuable Ireland Eating Disorder Treatment resources for those in eating disorder recovery. Bodywhys: The Eating Disorders Association of Ireland provides general information and treatment center referrals to those struggling with eating disorders and their families.

Ireland Eating Disorder Treatment Centers

Lois Bridges Eating Disorders Treatment Center in Dublin offers both residential and outpatient eating disorder programs. Treatment modalities include dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), interpersonal therapy, and nutritional therapy.

Eating Disorder Centre Cork (EDCC) LogoEating Disorder Centre Cork (EDCC) is an outpatient eating disorder clinic that also offers monthly support groups for loved ones of those in recovery.

Lucena Clinic Services provides mental health services to children and adolescents throughout Ireland.

Sanyford Wellness Centre LogoThe Sandyford Wellness Centre offers many resources for those struggling with eating disorders, including a 12-week CBT program and online resources.

St. Patrick’s Hospital has a comprehensive eating disorder program, offering inpatient and outpatient care at its hospital and clinics throughout Dublin.

Talbot Grove is an addiction treatment facility located in Kerry, Ireland, that also treats eating disorders and disordered eating.

Featured Article:

No treatment scheme for eating disorder sufferers

“People with eating disorders are not entitled to the same funding for treatment programmes granted to those who suffer from addictions to drugs or alcohol, the HSE has said. The revelation comes as a person with an eating disorder shared their battle to pay for treatment in a letter to the Irish Examiner.” Read more here.

An Overview on Treatment in Ireland

Eating disorders are becoming increasingly common worldwide.

According to Bodywhys, the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, eating disorders currently affect as many as 200,000 individuals in the country with an estimated 400 new cases per year.

To meet the growing need for resources throughout Ireland and nearby regions, there are many top treatment centers and non-profit organizations to support the local eating disorder community.

Statistics & Basic Info

A recent survey [1] reports that close to 12 percent of all admissions to psychiatric units and hospitals throughout Ireland under the age of 18 had an eating disorder as their primary diagnosis in 2015. This shows the need for resources specialized toward youth and adolescents.

In addition to eating disorders currently listed in the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), orthorexia is becoming increasingly common throughout Ireland.

As Aveen Bannon, a dietitian based out of Dublin, explained in a recent article in Irish Independent, “Orthorexia would really describe an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. It can begin with a focus on healthy eating, herbal remedies, vitamin supplements and some food avoidance. Often, quality of life decreases as the quality of the diet increases.”

Orthorexia is also becoming increasingly common throughout the United States, but there are few statistics on its true prevalence since it is not included in the DSM-5 and currently falls under the diagnosis of other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED).

The Media & Reality TV Controversies

UmbrellaThe media is often blamed for contributing to negative body image and the development of eating disorders around the globe.

An Irish reality show called Operation Transformation has come under attack recently for not addressing the full scope of contestants’ weight issues. Critics claim that the show fails to address any mental health concerns or patterns of disordered eating, instead appealing to the audience’s desire to see dramatic weigh-ins and extreme weight loss tips when they tune in.

Operation Transformation can be compared to the United States reality show The Biggest Loser, which had its own controversy this past year when a new study [2] revealed that most contestants gain back their weight once they leave the show. This is not surprising since weight fluctuations are common, but it was determined that the extreme weight loss tools used in the show, which are arguably disordered, are not realistic or sustainable in the real world.

By not addressing the reality that many people struggle with disordered eating and that the diet mentality is not a long-term solution, these shows are doing a disservice to those who participate.

While there are actions that can be taken to reduce the media’s negative effect on individuals prone to body image issues and disordered eating, part of the responsibility falls on the eating disorder community to raise awareness for eating disorders and ways to change the conversation. Bodywhys, the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, and similar organizations throughout Ireland are working toward doing just that.

Resources Available in Ireland

Bodywhys, the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, is a top resource for those looking for information, treatment options, and support for eating disorders. Through their Be Body Positive and Youth Panel initiatives, Bodywhys is truly at the forefront of raising awareness for eating disorders among adolescents throughout Ireland.

Umbrella in IrelandIreland is home to many eating disorder treatment centers that offer a wide range of services from inpatient to day programs and outpatient care.

Lois Bridges Eating Disorders Treatment Center offers residential and outpatient programs in Dublin. Also in Dublin is St. Patrick’s Hospital, which has an inpatient eating disorder program for individuals over the age of 18. Eating Disorder Centre Cork (EDCC) provides outpatient care and support groups for loves ones.

As previously mentioned, there is a strong need for adolescent eating disorder services throughout this region. Lucena Clinic Services is a unique mental health clinic for adolescents that provides varying levels of care and is funded by the Health Service Executive.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder in Ireland, know that you are not alone and that there are plentiful resources available. Check out Bodywhys for more information, or reach out to a treatment center or hospital near you. It can also be beneficial to look for online resources and join online recovery communities to support you on your journey.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What are your thoughts on the Operation Transformation controversy? How can we encourage this and similar shows to get to the root of disordered eating and address mental health concerns, when applicable?

Courtney Howard Image - 2-17-16About the Author: Courtney Howard is the Director of Operations & Business Development at Eating Disorder Hope and Addiction Hope. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. from San Diego State University, holds a paralegal certificate in Family Law, and is a Certified Domestic Violence Advocate. After obtaining her certification as a life coach, Courtney launched Lionheart Eating Disorder Recovery Coaching in 2015 and continues to be a passionate advocate for awareness and recovery.


[1]:  Daly, A., & Craig, S. “Activities of Irish Psychiatric Units and Hospitals 2015.” Dublin: Health Research Board.
[2]:  Fothergill, E., Guo, J., Howard, L., Kerns, J. C., Knuth, N. D., Brychta, R., Chen, K. Y., Skarulis, M. C., Walter, M., Walter, P. J. and Hall, K. D. (2016), Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after “The Biggest Loser” competition. Obesity, 24: 1612–1619. doi:10.1002/oby.21538

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on October 2, 2016