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what YOU can do

Be prepared and educate yourself as much as possible about eating disorders. The person you care about may be experiencing high levels of anxiety, shame, embarrassment, guilt or denial or may not recognize that they have an eating problem.

Encourage them to express how they feel; remember, it is important to understand how they feel, rather than just state how you feel.

Avoid putting the focus on food; instead, try talking about how the person is feeling instead.

Do not use any threatening statements; e.g. ‘If you don’t eat right I will punish you.’ This can be extremely harmful to the person’s emotions and behavior and can exacerbate the eating problem significantly.

WHO can help

Seek counseling or mental health treatment.

  • Private therapist

  • School counselor

  • Call a local or national hotline 

  • Reach out to a social worker

  • Contact another licensed mental health worker 

Medical or Emergency Care

A clinic or emergency healthcare provider is able to evaluate and determine the appropriate level of care. The patient will go through a medical screening process so medical providers can determine the best treatment based on the patient’s needs. This may include referral to a mental health professional or hospitalization.

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