Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Eating Disorder Service

Information for family and friends

Early actions

The sooner you address an eating disorder the better, as habits can become entrenched.  Eating disorders are very hard to fight alone: someone suffering from an eating problem will likely need you on their side against the illness. Encourage the young person to join in with family meals and support them to finish their meals. Sit with them after meals, as this can be a time when they feel stressed about what they have just eaten, and may be tempted to try to make themselves sick, or start exercising. They need to know that you are there to keep them safe and well and that you want to help them stay healthy.

All young people are growing, so it is crucial that they eat regular nourishing meals to give them energy. If they are also doing a lot of activity, they will need to eat more to keep up with their energy needs.

For adults, early intervention is equally as important – habits can become entrenched and others can provide invaluable support.  It is also important for adults to have enough energy to perform day-to-day activities and keep their bodies functioning.

Last updated: 2 April, 2019