Going to a support group

Going to a support group and how attending one might help

Some people who are trying to cope with their eating find attending a support group can help them make sense of what they are going through. Recovering from an eating disorder can take some time and relapses are often a part of this. Knowing that there is a non-judgemental place to air your feelings and where everyone will be supportive and understanding can give you that reassurance and encouragement you need to move forward.

Eating disorder support groups can take a variety of formats. Most groups will be inclusive of all eating disorders (including binge eating) but some may be specific to anorexia and bulimia, so is worth checking. Some groups also chose to divide along gender and age. If this is the case it is worth checking with them what other support is available and whether there are other groups near to you.

Nearly always you should expect the group to have a facilitator. Sometimes they might be a professional or they could be someone who has recovered from an eating disorder. Their role is to support the group and ensure it is a safe space.

Where the support group meets varies. Typical venues include community halls, churches, universities, hospitals and health centres.

Many individuals suffering from eating disorders attend support groups so they can go somewhere to discuss their behaviours, emotions, difficulties and worries without worry or judgement. Such groups can also be supportive to those who have experienced similar situations by using the group to find people with similar experiences they can relate to. The safety and security of the meetings can go a long way towards successful recoveries. Even for those who have recovered from an eating disorder it may be useful to attend a group by keeping their recovery in check and sharing their experience with others.

To find your nearest support group see the local support groups page. If there isn’t a group nearby it is worth checking the Beat Helpfinder.

MGEDT offers online and peer support groups and for information see our ‘services’ section.

'Men Get Eating Disorders Too' is a registered charity in England and Wales no. 1139351.

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