The lack of eating disorder services in New Zealand is having a devastating impact on people battling the psychiatric illness, with available resources already at breaking point.
Genevieve Mora, an anorexia survivor and co-founder of non-profit organisation Voices of Hope, is calling for urgent improvements in the space and increased options for eating disorder patients.
With months-long waitlists for public resources, many sufferers are unable to access the critical care they need.
"There are public services but there's also waitlists - that's another thing we need to work on - between one and three months. It's too late," she told The AM Show on Thursday.
"For someone with an eating disorder, one of the common things that you feel is that you're not sick enough - so to be put on a waitlist almost reinforces that belief."
Mora urges parents and caregivers struggling to help a young person with an eating disorder to contact EDANZ - a registered charity run by volunteers with lived experience in eating disorder recovery, focused on improving the outcomes for patients and their families.
"Please contact EDANZ and know that you're not alone. I think my parents felt that they were the only ones going through this and that's not the case at all. As a parent, it's okay if you need therapy as well - it's incredibly exhausting supporting someone through an eating disorder," Mora said.
"If you have an eating disorder, you are sick enough - regardless of what stage you're at."
Watch the video above.