The term ‘people with lived experience’ in this context refers to individuals who have experienced, are currently experiencing, are recovering, or have recovered from an eating disorder. This page is also intended for people who might be concerned that they have an eating disorder or who may be engaging in disordered eating or have body image concerns.
This page provides avenues for support for people with lived experience of an eating disorder or body image concerns. These include services that provide telephone, online, and/or face-to-face to support, as well as links to resources.
If you think that you or someone you know may be experiencing an eating disorder, it is important to seek help immediately. The earlier you seek help the closer you are to recovery. Your GP is a good ‘first base’ to seek support and access eating disorder treatment. Your GP will be able to talk to you about the best options for support and treatment and help you to find what you need. You can learn more about the types of services available in both outpatient (i.e. services you can access while you are living at home) and inpatient (i.e. those services you can access while you are in hospital or an eating disorders residential facility) through our Stepped System of Care webpage.
You can also contact Butterfly through their helpline, email, or online chat and talk to their counsellors about your experience and what might be needed to support you or someone you care about.
If you are looking for an eating disorder-specific clinical service, please see our service locator.
Eating disorder organisations in Australia
In Australia there are several eating disorders lived experience organisations that advocate, educate, support, and provide evidence-based resources for people experiencing an eating disorder and their families and supports. Further information about these organisations can be found here.
The Butterfly Foundation is the national charity for all Australians impacted by eating disorders and body image issues and provides support, care, referrals, and resources. Butterfly operates a National Helpline that includes support over the phone, via email and online.
Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA) is a national not-for-profit run by carers with lived experience, connecting, supporting and educating families and carers of people with eating disorders. EDFA runs carer support groups and regular education and information webinars.
State-based lived experience organisations include Eating Disorders Queensland (EDQ), a not-for-profit providing integrated eating disorder support services and resources to Queensland individuals living with and recovering from an eating disorder, and Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV), a not-for-profit organisation providing support services, information and guidance to people impacted by eating disorders in Victoria.
For a more comprehensive list of eating disorder lived experience and service development organisations, click here.
Peer support work and support groups
Peer support workers and support groups can provide valuable assistance to people who are thinking about or are in recovery from an eating disorder, as well as families and supports.
Read more about these support options here.
Resources for people with lived experience of an eating disorder
There are many free resources available for people with lived experience of an eating disorder, including online materials, tools, and programs.
Please click here to access these.