Families, supports, and people with lived experience play a crucial role in the care, support and recovery of people with eating disorders.
A support can be a parent, partner, friend, grandparent, child, sibling, grandchild, neighbour or any other person caring for someone with an eating disorder. Supporting someone with an eating disorder is a big responsibility and can come with considerable personal strain.
People who are experiencing, recovering, or have recovered from an eating disorder are all people with lived experience. Sometimes these people can be referred to as consumers.
This page contains resources for people with lived experience, families, supports, and the general public.
Resources for Supports
NEDC have developed new resources to help equip families, supports, and carers with skills and coping techniques.
Below are links to helpful resources created by eating disorders services and organisations in Australia:
The Shared Table Meal Support Training is an innovative online meal support training program for carers. Partner organisations include Queensland Eating Disorder Service (QuEDs), Eating Disorders Queensland (EDQ) and the Child and Youth Mental Health Services Eating Disorder Program (CHYMS EDP). This training has been designed to assist carers in the provision of meal support. It includes information about the stages of meal support, communication skills, setting rules, boundaries and non-negotiables, and provides an in-depth look at the role nutrition plays in recovery.
The Victorian Centre of Excellence in Eating Disorders (CEED) has created feedyourinstinct.com.au, an interactive resource devised to help families of children aged between 10 to 20 to assess the early warning signs of eating disorders in their child. Critically, this tool provides an individualised evaluation of the behaviours the family is observing via a step-by-step Q&A format. Once users progress through the Q&A, they finish with a printable PDF report personalised to their child's experience, which they can take to their local GP for action. The report also provides GPs with best-practice guidelines for further assessment and diagnosis.
Lived Experience Resources
Consumer checklist: Getting treatment for an eating disorder can be a daunting process given that most people know little about eating disorders and effective treatments. It can also feel uncomfortable to ask too many questions of health professionals. People living with an eating disorder, their carers and supports need to find someone they can work with. Treatment and recovery can be a long process, and it’s important that people make sure they are working effectively with their health professionals over the long term. We encourage people to ask the questions in this checklist before starting their treatment journey. Created and copyrighted by Tracey Wade, Belinda Caldwell, Shannon Calvert, Tanya Kretschmann, Elise Thompson, Deborah Mitchison and Phillipa Hay.
The Centre for Clinical Interventions (CCI) has published their latest set of consumer modules: ‘Caring Less About Your Looks’, which can be found at cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself/Appearance-Concerns.
Rather than change specific beliefs about appearance, these modules have been designed to help lessen the impact that appearance concerns can have on someone’s quality of life. They examine the factors that keep people overly focused on their appearance, and introduce specific strategies that target these mechanisms directly. In short, they are about helping people to care less about their looks, and more about other things in life. These modules are designed to be worked through in sequence from Module 1-7. Consumers can work on these modules independently, or with the assistance of a mental health professional.
For more information about CCI, their resources and training, please visit cci.health.wa.gov.au/
NEDC has created eatingdisordersinfo.org.au, a mobile-friendly website specifically designed for a young audience.
NEDC has created storiesfromexperience.com.au, a learning resource designed to guide people who are recovering or have recovered from an eating disorder in writing their story. Stories from Experience is a safe place to start writing your story. This resource includes interactive modules and learning content to help reflect on your experience and craft purposeful stories.
The Victorian Centre of Excellence in Eating Disorders (CEED) has created reachoutandrecover.com.au, the Reach Out And Recover (ROAR) website designed for adults with lived experience. There is a list of helpful resources and an interactive tool that allows you to generate a report based on your answers to questions about behaviours and thinking patterns related to eating and body concerns.