Helping someone with an eating disorder

  • It can be very difficult and scary if you think you know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder.You want to help, but you don’t want to jeopardise your relationship. Think about what you would like to say and how you want to say it. Where, when and how are all very  important.
  • Tell your friend/relative/colleague how much you care about them, express your concerns, and ask if there is anything you can do to help.
  • Suggest talking to a GP, and offer support to do this, and in any future treatment. Also reassure them that you would be happy to talk with them again, whenever they wish.
  • Try to remain calm and encouraging-not easy when you are worried.
  • Share your concerns with your GP, or a close friend.
  • Try to motivate your friend/relative/colleague to recognise and think about how their eating behaviour affects their own life and the lives of those around them.
  • Offer support and encouragement in all their efforts to make positive changes, no matter how small, and try to maintain support.
  • Recognise that to be able to help, encourage and support in the struggle against eating disorders, families, friends and colleagues need to have support, help and encouragement for themselves.


b-eat helpline  0845 634 1414

abc parents’ helpline   01934 710645