If you think your friend or family member may have an eating disorder it is important that you seek help from a professional. This could be the hardest thing they have ever done and persuading them they should talk to someone will not be easy. Be prepared for denial and refusal to admit or acknowledge they have a problem. Remind them that you know it is difficult and scary but also very important. No one is to blame for having an eating disorder and they seldom go away without professional help.

Here are some suggestions on who you could get your friend or family member to talk to – or you could contact them for some information about how they can help you. Remember though it is better if the person is able to contact the agency themselves. You can always go with them for support.

For anyone

  • Talk to your local doctor
  • Call your local Citizen Advice Bureau for your local counselling services
  • Look in your local phone book under counselling services or psychotherapist and psychotherapy services
  • Contact NZAC (New Zealand Association of Counsellors on 07 834 0220 or execofficcer@nzac.org.nz) or NZAP (New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists on 04 475 6244, Mon – Fri 9am – 1pm) for a counsellor or psychotherapist in your area.

If they are still at school

  • Talk to a teacher
  • Talk to your school counsellor
  • Talk to a GP / Doctor

If they are at university

  • Talk to someone at student health
  • Talk to someone at the student counselling service

If they are female

  • Your town or city may have a women’s centre that offers counselling services or can refer you on to a doctor or therapist.

If they live in the Greater Wellington Region