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Australian hoarders falling between the gaps


Moulding R1, Nedeljkovic M2,3, Kyrios M4, Osborne D3, Mogan C3,5.


A leading expert on hoarding disorder has developed a new treatment for the condition and called for a major rethink in the way hoarding is managed in Australia.

Professor Mike Kyrios, Director of The Australian National University (ANU) Research School of Psychology, said people with hoarding disorder are falling between the gaps of Australia’s medical system.

Hoarding disorder effects between two to six per cent of the population. People with the condition excessively acquire or save items and have difficulty getting rid of possessions regardless of the value. This then leads to clutter in the home or work spaces rendering those spaces unusable and potentially dangerous.

“This is a severe mental health condition that affects people’s lives and is associated with unnecessary deaths. We know that 25 per cent of deaths from fires in homes occur in the homes of people with a hoarding problem,” Professor Kyrios said.

“Existing Medicare services only allow for 10 sessions of treatment, where hoarding takes a much longer time to treat – anywhere between six-months and twelve-months.

“Effective treatments do exist however there are very few people in Australia who can provide them.

“We need a much more multi-disciplinary approach to the management of hoarding in the community and we need to teach a range of professionals how to manage it effectively.”

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