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Calling the Helpline: What to expect

Got questions about what to expect when calling the Beat Helpline for eating disorder support? We're here to help. Have a read below to find out more information about our Helpline services.

How can I get in touch?

You can contact Beat through phone, one-to-one webchat or email. Our advisors will be on hand to support you via each method to match your communication preferences.

What happens when I call?

When you call, you’ll be put through to a recorded message briefly explaining which helpline you’re through to, our confidentiality policy and how a record of the call will be kept. You will then be connected to an advisor.
If there is nobody immediately available to speak with you, you’ll be placed into a queue with an automated message informing you of your place in the queue until an advisor becomes available.

What happens once I get through to an advisor?

The advisor will introduce themselves and ask for your name (though you can choose to remain anonymous). They will then check whether you understood the confidentiality policy, whether you are calling on behalf of yourself or somebody else, your age, which part of the UK you are calling from and explain our scope of service to you. To enable as many people to be supported as possible, calls typically last between 20 and 30 minutes. Please be reassured that an advisor will not terminate the call prematurely, we understand that a longer call may be necessary due to your circumstances.

During the call, the advisor will support you and work with you to create an action plan going forwards. We aim to provide an action-focused service directing you towards information and support that will help yourself or loved one in recovery.

This can vary due to your individual needs, though it may include support such as: signposting to support, referral to one of our own support services or support with next steps of recovery.

At the end of the call we will ask your region, postcode, ethnicity, how you heard of Beat and you will then be put through to a short automatic phone survey.*

What happens when I use the webchat?

You’ll be connected to an advisor. You will then receive an automatic message asking for your name, age, ethnicity and area of the UK you are contacting from. *

What happens when you email us?

We aim to respond to all emails within a 24 hour period to our helpline, except when we have replied once that day. We will then respond the next day.

*We ask these questions for equality monitoring purposes and to understand who is using our services. Some of our support services are age and location based so it will also help our advisor work with you to offer you as much support as possible.