Your Role in Treatment


  • Families, partners, friends and other carers can play an important part in helping their loved one to get well.
  • How you support your loved one will vary according to their treatment and your relationship with them.
  • Because supporting someone with an eating disorder can be so difficult, you should be offered an assessment by your loved one’s eating disorder service to see whether any additional support would be helpful.
  • This section helps explain how you can best help your loved one, while looking after yourself at the same time.
  • The Resources section of this pack also suggests lots of helpful resources.
My family were absolute saviours throughout my eating disorders. They took time to research and read up on what I was going through, made sure they asked the doctors and dietitians lots of questions and were an unwavering support system. Even at times when I felt so low that not even they could cheer me up, my parents and siblings ensured I knew that they were there even if that just meant sitting in silence or trying to take my mind off things.

Families, partners, friends and other carers can play an essential role in the recovery of their loved one, through ways such as:

  • Helping the person to access treatment and to attend sessions.
  • Ensuring that evidence-based treatment is provided.
  • Supporting their loved one with meals and snacks.
  • Helping their loved one to manage urges.
  • Providing a recovery-focused environment.
  • Helping their loved one to explore who they are and what they like doing, if the eating disorder has become their identity.

The way you can provide support will vary based on your loved one’s treatment and your relationship with them. This page talks about the role of a carer during recommended first approaches to treating eating disorders.

Tips for Supporting Somebody

If you’re worried about someone then it’s important to encourage them to seek treatment as quickly as possible to ensure the best chance of recovery. 

States of Change

It often takes time for people with eating disorders to seek and engage in treatment. It’s important to manage your expectations when your loved one enters treatment.