Family & Friends

We know how difficult it is for you when the person you care about has an eating disorder or appears to be developing one. We understand the feelings; the fear for their physical and emotional wellbeing, the uncertainty – not being able to see the way forward or have hope for recovery. For family members there is often unnecessary guilt, the sense of isolation, the exhaustion and differences of opinion within the family as to how best to handle things.

We also know the dilemmas you face when first suspecting or discovering; will talking about it make matters worse?  Should I let him/her continue on their path, hoping it will be a passing phase? He/she won’t talk about it and is adamant that there is nothing wrong, so how can I help them move forward towards recovery, or even get them some professional help? Perhaps they’re waiting for a referral and you feel ‘stuck’ or they’re receiving professional care and you’re worried about their progress. Maybe they’ve left professional care and seem to be slipping back . 

We understand the depth of fear and worry, the helplessness and hopelessness you may be feeling and are here to help you, - to offer you emotional support and practical suggestions for the way forward. Our family support has been a major part of ABC’s work for over 25 years and from our feedback, we know the difference our help makes.

Parent and Carers' Online Community

You have told us that speaking to another parent or carer who is supporting someone battling an eating disorder can be incredibly useful and supportive. You can be encouraged and gain insight by sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences with someone going through a similar situation. At ABC we recognise the need to create a free platform through which parents and carers can form a virtual community. We invite you to follow the link, register and start posting, please click here.

"I found the call to ABC, informative, warm, reassuring, realistic without being afraid of alerting me to the potential dangers. It was trustworthy and reliable - ABC is a safe pair of hands." Christine

Family and Friends Helpline: 03000 11 12 13 (Option 2)

Weekly drop-in for support and information

Every Thursday, 9.30am-4.15pm - currently online via Skype during Coronavirus

Our free Hub service is open to both those with or without a diagnosis and anyone who cares for, or supports someone, with an eating disorder. Whether you are a parent, carer, guardian or another family member, all are welcome. 

The Support Hub can provide carers and family members with:

  • Emotional and practical support
  • Suggestions for self-care and coping strategies
  • Lived experience and understanding of what it means to care for someone with an eating disorder
  • A safe and confidential space to discuss your worries
  • Information on treatment options and recovery
  • The chance to meet other carers to reduce isolation

Appointments are available to book up to a month in advance. Joanna, our parent representative, has personal experience of caring for and supporting her daughter through Anorexia. She is also a practice nurse and SEN learning assistant. Read more about Joanna.

Book an appointment with Anorexia & Bulimia Care Support Hub

Struggling during Coronavirus? 

We know how difficult it is to care for a child or loved one with an eating disorder during a health pandemic. The focus on food availability, the potential lack of 'safe' foods, the closure of gyms and the additional worry and stress this situation creates can take a huge toll on parents and families. 

Alongside the support offered by Joanna at the Support Hub, and our family and friends telephone and email helpline, we have created a downloadable guide: Coping with an Eating Disorder during Coronavirus. We hope you find the tips and suggestions helpful. 

ABC's Guide to Coping with an Eating Disorder during Coronavirus

Download your copy here