Worcester, Mass. — Walden Behavioral Care, LLC of Waltham, Mass., a leading hospital for treating eating disorders, has announced plans to open a new office in Worcester to provide intensive outpatient services (IOP). The office is opening in response to feedback from healthcare professionals in the region who expressed the need for a treatment center for eating disorders.
"We've been talking to healthcare professionals in the area for the past year and the feedback we've been receiving is that there is an overwhelming need for dedicated treatment of eating disorders," explained Walden president and CEO Stuart L. Koman, PhD.
The new facility will provide outpatient treatment for adults 17 and older. Patients who need more intensive treatment will be treated at Walden's Waltham facility, which provides in-patient care, residential and partial hospitalization care. Walden also operates an eating disorders clinic in Northampton, Mass., and other satellite programs are being planned.
Staff in the new location, which will initially occupy about 500 square feet, will include licensed social workers, a primary clinician and administrative support.
Walden treats a variety of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, a psychological disorder characterized by an aversion to eating and fear of gaining weight; bulimia nervosa, a condition where sufferers typically purge food they have eaten by self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives or other means, and binge eating disorder, which is characterized by uncontrollable, excessive eating.
"Eating disorders often are accompanied by other health issues, including substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, trauma or self-harming behavior," Koman said. "Walden takes a 'whole health' approach and has the expertise to diagnose and treat not only eating disorders, but any associated healthcare problem the patient may have."
The large population of college students in Worcester makes it a natural location for Walden, according to Koman, who explained that while eating disorders affect about 4 percent of the general population, they affect 20 percent of the college population.