Columbia facility helping people cope with eating disorders

Columbia facility helping people cope with eating disorders

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - Eighty percent of people dealing with an eating disorder overcome it by going through extensive therapy out of state, according to doctors.

Staying in a treatment center could mean weeks and months away from home and family.  

There now is a first of its kind residential eating disorder facility right in our backyard in Columbia called The Hearth Center for Healing.

"There has never been a facility like this in South Carolina, there are no major eating disorder facilitates here and there has not been for a while," said Executive Director Dr. Timothy Brewerton.

Brewerton has helped people battle eating disorders for nearly 30 years. More than 50,000 children in our state are fighting some form of eating disorder, but Brewerton says close to 25 percent of them require specialized services.

"So we're talking about tens of thousands of kids and adolescents that are not getting the services they need here, so that's really the gap that we hope to fill here," Brewerton said.

The center opened its doors in April with the hope of helping teens and adolescents dealing with anorexia and bulimia. The center provides a residential home so parents don't have to send their child out of state to get help.

The residential home boasts eight bedrooms, a lounge, a state-of-the-art kitchen and more.

The heart of the center are the programs provided which include daily group, individual, family therapy, as well as meal therapy which is a daily food plan with 3 meals and 3 snacks, and yoga to learn how to calm anxiety when it comes to eating.

Brewerton says the length of stay could be weeks or even months.

The Hearth Center for Healing also has a partial hospital program, an intensive outpatient program and other services to also help tackle this illness.

Currently, only a few insurance companies cover residential care at the center.

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