ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Eating disorders in adolescents often go unreported or unnoticed, and when they are diagnosed. Limited access to care can put even more strain on the patient.
Now, funding coming to our area is looking to change that.

Advocates say eating disorders are one of the most lethal mental health issues among young people, second only to opioid abuse. And currently, care is hard to come by.

That’s why $80,000 in funding was secured for a new care facility, which is being developed in Pittsford.

The Upstate Adolescent Eating Disorder Residential Treatment Facility will be the first and only facility for adolescents recovering from eating disorders in Upstate New York.

Advocates gathered Friday to say the need is great. They say 20,000 to 30,000 people suffer from eating disorders in Western New York alone.

The facility will be run by The Healing Connection, an affiliate of the Western NY Comprehensive Care Center for eating disorders.

Dr. Mary Tantillo with the organization said this facility can eliminate a point of stress in receiving care.

“Currently, adolescents need to travel at least five hours away from home to receive eating disorder residential treatment, and the majority have to go out of state, leaving behind their families, friends, and their healthcare team,” Dr. Tantillo said. “Their transition out of town and back can lead to many discontinuities of care and disconnections in interpersonal relationships, which the eating disorder actually capitalizes on.”

The Healing Connection is familiar with the area, operating several care facilities in Rochester, and has worked closely with the Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders and Golisano Children’s Hospital for program planning and implementation.

That funding Friday championed by Assembly Member Jen Lunsford. No word yet from officials on when they hope that facility will be completed.