Eating disorder patients left without treatment in Columbia

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COLUMBIA — McCallum Place Eating Disorder Treatment Center closed its doors for the last time in Columbia Friday afternoon.

That move left the city and mid-Missouri without a treatment center for people with eating disorders.

In a statement, The McCallum Place said, "We would have loved to have been able to see our mission in Columbia through and are heartbroken that we will no longer be able to do so. We are told that this decision was made to reallocate resources to the main St. Louis site to ensure longevity in McCallum Place's overall mission to serve those struggling with eating disorders."

Caroline Gooden, an MU freshman and a McCallum Place patient, expressed her concern for the health of her peers if their treatment stops along with the center's closing.

"A lot of times if treatment just stops right in the middle, they're going to relapse and go right back into their eating disorder so I don't know what the patients are going to do."

She mentioned a regulated eating plan and schedule is essential to trying to avoid relapsing.

"Having to do all that at home and not at a treatment center, I think just would be completely overwhelming," said Gooden.

She will continue therapy with another therapist in Columbia while maintaining a relationship with a dietitian from the McCallum Place in St. Louis.

"I definitely would not be here if I hadn't gone to McCallum. I wouldn't have been able to go to college," said Gooden.

For patients who cannot relocate to St. Louis or who want therapy here in town, the University of Missouri Counseling Center can be reached at 573-882-6601, and the Women's Center's phone number is 573-882-6621. McCallum Place will continue to operate as usual in St. Louis, with both inpatient and outpatient options.