Peer support work and support groups can provide valuable assistance to people who are thinking about or are in recovery from an eating disorder, and their families and supports.
Peer support work
Peer support work refers to non-clinical support provided by peer support workers to people experiencing an eating disorder or their families and supports. Peer support workers draw on their own lived experience of an eating disorder, or as a carer for someone experiencing eating disorder.
Peer support workers can provide services on an individual basis (sometimes referred to as ‘recovery coaching’ or ‘carer coaching’), or in a group setting (such as a peer-facilitated support group- see the next section for more information).
To find out more about what peer work involves, see NEDC's Peer Work Guide.
Support groups can help people experiencing an eating disorder and their families and carers to learn and practice skills for recovery, as well as foster a sense of hope and motivation. They can also provide a valuable sense of connection with others who are going through similar experiences.
Some support groups are designed for people experiencing an eating disorder, while others are designed for families and supports. Support groups may be facilitated by a peer support worker or a health professional (or sometimes both).
Finding a peer support worker or support group
Contact the organisations below to find out more about the peer support services and/or support groups that they offer. These may include face to face or online options.
The Butterfly Foundation: butterfly.org.au
Eating Disorders Families Australia: edfa.org.au
Eating Disorders Queensland: eatingdisordersqueensland.org.au
Eating Disorders Victoria: eatingdisorders.org.au