‘Dar Kenn għal Saħħtek’ (Centre for the treatment of Obesity and Eating disorders), a residential, day care and out-patient facility, is aimed to provide a holistic treatment of patients with eating disorders and weight behavioral problems. The Foundation was set up between the Malta Community Chest Fund and the Ministry of Health. 4 board members are appointed by the MCCF and 4 appointed by the MFH while the Chairperson is appointed by The President of Malta and the Prime Minister.
The overall objective of the programme of intensive rehabilitation is to begin or continue a course of treatment aimed at interrupting the growth and maintenance factors of the disorder. An important feature of this approach is the highly structured treatment programme that allows a correct evaluation of the results and the possibility of directing therapeutic intervention to the specific needs of the patients and their families.
The methodology is based on a common therapeutic programme that involves collaboration between multiple professions (including doctors, psychiatrists, nutritionists, dietitians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists) who address the various aspects of thedisorder by adhering to the same theoretical model of treatment. The programme features highly specialized care and is divided into different stages of care from both a psychological and nutritional aspect.
The daily programme is highly structured; both in the careful management of the meals and in various activities aimed to empower patients regain a correct eating pattern, self-esteem, motivation and mobility.
DKS has been offering services for the past 5 years.
Residential programme (duration of 8 weeks followed by out patiet care), Day programmes and out patient services are offered at the centre.
Upon referral patients are assessed by the responsible team. They are then guided to follow the best suitable programme to address their needs. Patients can either be referred to follow:
- Residential Programme – duration is indefinite and will be discussed between their assigned multidisciplinary team. They follow both group and individual sessions to including psychodynamic, psychoeducational and groups. Family is also offered support through support groups held on a regular basis by a counsellor and also individually during session with psychologists.
- Day Programme – Patients follow groups during the day as instructed by their multidisciplinary team.
- Out patients – Out patient care is also offered in cases where residential care is not needed.
The principal aims of this project are the following:
- To address the causes of poor health and wellbeing related to eating habits.
- To provide comprehensive programmes based on local eating habits which are accessible to all.
- To support persons who experience eating disorders and obesity by providing holistic treatment.
- To provide follow up care for persons after being released from hospital following an acute admission for an eating disorder.
- To promote healthy lifestyles.
- To provide support and treatment for those experiencing eating disorders and obesity and an opportunity to share personal experiences and coping strategies with others.
- To inform and through educational activities help to raise the level of understanding of eating disorders and obesity and encourage prevention, treatment and recovery.
- To liase in the prevention of eating disorders and obesity with the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Department
- To provide a confidential, safe and homely place for the delivery of a holistic therapy for sufferers as well as support to their families.
- To provide a means of tackling social isolation and empowerment.
- To provide support for sufferers and carers so that they do not feel alone and to deal with individuals in a professional manner exercising strict confidentiality.
- To help sufferers receive professional help in a homely environment.
- To promote the recognition of eating problems at an early stage most particularly in schools.
- To provide all the necessary support to sufferers to ensure their social reintegration after the phase of residential treatment.
- To support ongoing research, clinical practices, and various study possibilities for students in educational institutions who wish to broaden their studies in this field.
- To compile, share information and experiences with similar centres.
- To promote physical activity and motivate people to live a healthy lifestyle.
- To promote a healthy body image and self-esteem.