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Together NI

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Mid Ulster Agewell

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Inspire Addiction Services

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Headway UK – Northern Ireland

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Eating Disorders – Supporting Someone Else

Guest blog from Beat

Eating disorders affect not only those who are unwell but the people around them too. If you’re caring for someone with an eating disorder, you may need support for yourself, as well as resources to help you give them the help they need. If you’re concerned about someone, here are some things you can do.

Speak to them as soon as possible

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You may worry you’ll say the wrong thing, that it’s none of your business, or that you’ll offend the person, but remember eating disorders are serious mental illnesses and are not the person’s fault. Learn about how to raise concerns with someone to help start the conversation.

Learn more about eating disorders

They are extremely complex mental illnesses, and it can be difficult to understand what the person is experiencing. There is a lot of information on eating disorders on Beat’s website.

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Make sure you have support for yourself

Supporting someone with an eating disorder can impact your own mental health, so a support network and time for yourself are vital. Beat offers lots of support for those caring for people with eating disorders, including our Helplines, anonymous online support group the Aviary, and a range of training and coaching services that will empower you to best support your loved one. You can learn more here.

What can Beat offer?

Helplines available via phone, email, and one-to-one webchat. They are open every day from 9am – 8pm on weekdays and 4pm – 8pm on weekends and bank holidays. Call 0808 801 0677 or email

Online peer support groups

Telephone coaching and guided self-help

Workshops for those caring for someone with an eating disorder

Learn more about all of BEATS services here.

Eva Swanston
Author: Eva Swanston

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