The Welsh government is putting an extra £500,000 a year to help young people with eating disorders when they turn 18.
The money will be used to improve services for young people with eating disorders and their families when they transfer from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) to adult services.
The extra cash is an addition to the £1.25 million the government already spends annually on treating people with eating disorders in Wales.
CAHMS in Wales currently offer a family-based approach for children up to 18 while the adult service delivers an individualised treatment model which may or may not involve the patients’ family.
Health secretary Vaughan Gething said the money will be used to recruit specialist staff so there is more time available to support young people with eating disorders.
He said: ‘The additional funding will help ensure the services and treatment approach young people and their families’ receive will not change when they transition from CAMHS into adult services.
‘This will help ensure young people receive the care and support they need during what is an extremely difficult time for them and their family. I hope the improvements this funding will support will make a real and positive difference to them.’
He wants to develop a ‘transitional service’ embedded in the adult eating disorders service which works with colleagues in CAHMS services.
Mr Gething said: ‘Eating disorders comprise a range of highly complex mental illnesses, as well as being physically debilitating conditions in themselves, which is why early diagnosis and intervention is vital.
The money will be used to blend services including home and community support and family-based treatment for a seamless transition of patient care.
There will also be extra training for exciting staff and help in setting up joint treatment interventions, including multi-family group therapies, cognition remediation therapy and family support.