If a child and adolescent eating disorder day program had been around 10 years ago, Warilla 23-year-old Tara Powell may not be in the position she is today.
Cared for by her best friend, Tara is being fed through a nasogastric tube in an effort to keep her alive until she gets to the top of a waiting list for a private eating disorder clinic in Sydney.
She'd almost given in to the demons that have plagued her since she was 14, but hopes this program will end years of mental and physical anguish punctuated by frequent hospitalisations.
"For a long time I had given up and had the belief that anorexia was how I was going to die - I didn't care if it killed me, I just thought 'so be it', as it was too hard and I'd just lost hope," she said.
"My views haven't changed that much but I have people around me at the moment encouraging me to keep going, and that's why I've accepted the help to go to [the private clinic].
"Hopefully, this will be the turning point for me."
Despite her frail state - and the fact that she's too old for the child and adolescent program foreshadowed this week by the state government - the young woman is glad others will have the access to services she did not.
"I'm really excited by the new day program to be established for younger sufferers - it's crucial to have the right therapy and resources available at an early stage," she said.
"Such a program probably would have made a world of difference to me when I was a lot younger and in the earlier stages of my disease.
"But I'm so glad it's going to be available now to hopefully prevent another generation going through what the last generation with anorexia has gone through with the lack of services," Tara said.
Lack of understanding from clinicians has also been a constant throughout Tara's battle, but she hopes that the government's five-year plan will go some way to address that.
"The plan to providing more information to local GPs through tele-health and networking is crucial; if they understand it better, they can treat it better," she said.
However, Tara said she was disappointed that acute treatment would continue to be based in Sydney.
"Our resources down here are so stretched - so many people from the South Coast are having to travel to Sydney or even Melbourne to get treatment," she said.