Our Story

The story of The Secret Burden began on Mother’s Day in 2015 when co-founder Kendall Thomas went to Facebook to document her 14-year old daughters admission into hospital for Anorexia Nervosa.

Kendall and her husband Andrew had tried everything they could to help their daughter Ashlee recover from Anorexia. After 26 weeks of unsupported and limited professional help at home, Kendall and Andrew had no choice but to admit Ashlee into a children’s mental health ward in Brisbane.

Kendall decided to share her family’s struggle online to vocalise the difficulty of recovery and the intensity of the illness, in the hope conversations about eating disorders would start and change would occur to help more families suffering.

The Secret Burden Facebook page started as a necessary space for a mother to share her experience with Anorexia. In 2017, the Facebook Page was handed to Ashlee to share her side of the story.

In 2020, The Secret Burden Pty Ltd was founded. Kendall and Ashlee Thomas became co-founders of the business with the shared goal of making a change in the eating disorder space.

What We Do

We work in the prevention and early intervention space for eating and mental health disorders. We provide one-on-one support for families and individuals going through eating or mental health disorders. We offer information and resources to families who need it during their eating or mental health journey.

We organise annual events and share our lived experiences with our online and local community to start conversations about eating and mental health disorders.

Our Mission

To start the conversation, challenge the stigma and create change in the eating and mental health disorder space, to have both issues globally recognised as conditions that need addressing with sufficient treatment.

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