Where to go for support when you have an eating disorder

Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses that anyone can develop, regardless of age, income and ethnicity. Take a look at some of the common signs of eating disorders and where to go for support if you need help.

According to Beat Eating Disorders there are an estimated 1.25 million people in the UK with an eating disorder. Eating disorders vary a lot from person to person and can be challenging to identify.

Could I have an eating disorder?   

Some of the common behaviours suggesting you or a family member may have an eating disorder can include:  

  • distorted beliefs about your body
  • eating large quantities of food at once
  • getting rid of the food eaten through making yourself sick, frequent fasting, going to toilet after meals or other unhealthy means
  • a combination of the above.

If you’re worried about yourself or someone else, seek help as quickly as possible, as this gives the greatest chance of a full recovery.

It was a struggle and it is a constant struggle; you do not know who to turn to get help for your child and there are not enough people who know enough about eating disorders.

Where to go for support

  • Contact your GP If you think that you have an eating disorder you should contact your local GP. They will ask you about your eating habits and lifestyle. If they think that you might have an eating disorder they will refer you to a specialist. 
  • Talk to a friend or family member It can be very hard to admit you have a problem and ask for help. Start by talking to a friend or family member. You could even bring them with you to your appointment to make you feel more comfortable.
  • Talk to an advisor  Beat Eating Disorders has advisors who can talk to you about the different types of eating disorders, and provide information about recovery and the support available to you.

- Adult Helpline: 0808 801 0677 or email help@beateatingdisorders.org.uk - Youthline: 0808 801 0711 or email fyp@beateatingdisorders.org.uk

Wolverhampton Eating Disorders Team

  • The team give support to people with the following eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and eating disorders not otherwise specified.
  • The service is for adults (18 to 65), and will also help people who are aged 16 to 18 if they are not in full-time education.
  • They try to involve carers and families as much as they can. Carers and families can help make care plans, and can also be a part of the care plan.
  • They help families and carers learn more about eating disorders.

If it is the first time using the service you must be referred to them by a GP.

Find out more

What should services do to help?

  • Provide quicker access to support. Beat has warned that during the pandemic NHS waiting lists to see a specialist have grown alarmingly.
  • Raise awareness of eating disorders and make information about local treatment and support easy to access.
  • Offer more information about support groups to help people support a family member or struggling with an eating disorder.