For crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14, MH Call 1300 642 255 or in an emergency call 000


Eating disorders

Family and friends

Informal support provided by the loved ones of a person experiencing an eating disorder

What is it?

As a family member or friend of someone experiencing an eating disorder, your loved one may share concerns with you or could benefit from your support.

If you suspect someone you are close to has an eating disorder, then it’s important to talk to them about it.

What can someone expect?

Understanding the stage of change your loved one is at can be helpful to know how best to support them. This might range from:

  • not being aware of their disordered eating
  • being aware and considering the benefits of changing some of their behaviour
  • planning to take action or already taking action towards their recovery.

Your loved one’s attitude may fluctuate between wanting to change and wanting to maintain their disordered eating habits. They can also commonly experience relapse. This can be difficult and confusing, both for the person with the eating disorder and for you.

Family and friends are important supports for someone at any stage of recovery.

Family and friends can learn more about eating disorders and how to support their loved ones through:

Who is this for?

If a loved one is experiencing an eating disorder, you may want tips on how to talk to them about their situation. You may also want to learn more about eating disorders and how to best support your loved one.

How can someone access it?

You can learn more about eating disorders and how to support your family member or friend through:

If you’re providing regular or ongoing support to your loved one, you might be considered a ‘carer or key support’ for them. Learn more about carers and key supports here.

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