“When someone you care about experiences an eating disorder, it can be difficult to know how to help and how to adapt to changes in your own life and relationships”.
“Families, friends, and carers rarely have prior knowledge about eating disorders and recovery”.
“And the information available frequently focuses only on clinical symptoms and treatment, rather than recovery, relationships, and wellbeing for everyone affected”.
“But learning about eating disorders and recovery can make a real difference to you and your loved one”.
“I know firsthand how hard it is to live with an eating disorder and I know the damage it can cause to families”.
“The fear that someone you care for may not recover can create distress, worry and extreme feelings of hopelessness”.
“But people can and do recover, and family, friends and carers can support that recovery in many ways”.
“I’m delighted to be working with EDFA to support, educate and empower families affected by an eating disorder, as we work towards a vision where eating disorders struggle to emerge, thrive or persist”.
Joni Thomes is also the National Communications & Strategic Projects Manager for Bowel Cancer Australia, a national charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and the best care for everyone affected by bowel cancer.
Joni’s top tips
Stigma, shame, and secrecy enables eating disorders and disables relationships.
Inform yourself about eating disorders and recovery: Look at a range of sources, including research-based information and resources from people with their own lived experience, both carers and people affected by eating disorders.
Make connections with others: although it can be difficult to connect with others, especially when you are busy caring for someone else, becoming isolated can impact negatively on you and your family’s wellbeing. If you can, seek out community networks like EDFA’s Strive support groups, where you feel welcome and included.
Stay hopeful: hearing from others who have experience with eating disorders and recovery can be helpful when you are feeling overwhelmed. Having hope in someone’s recovery, especially when they are feeling hopeless, can be very helpful for both of you.
Become a member of EDFA for $25 per year (Australian Carers Only)
EDFA is a proud not for profit, volunteer run organisation.
We invite you to be part of a revolutionary peer support group making positive changes in the Eating Disorder space. Strength in numbers means we are able to affect change and have the collective voice of the carers recognised.
We provide opportunities to connect with other parents and carers who share your experiences… helping you to feel less alone and isolated.
Yearly membership is just $25.
Membership gives access to monthly state-based strive carer support groups, twice monthly education sessions, monthly sibling support, quarterly strive support groups for carers of people with ARFID and Bulimia as well as a group for male carers and access to the members-only National strive Australia page providing connection with & support from fellow parents and carers all over Australia. Members will also receive discounts to eating disorder events and conferences. Daily online support through our striveFacebook pages and the opportunity to connect, share, learn and ask questions is another benefit of being part of our EDFA community.
Your membership helps EDFA with ongoing costs of running a not-for-profit organisation, and importantly, shows Government that families value, need and believe in this type of lived-experience support. Strength in numbers helps EDFA lobby as the collective voice of carers for better services, treatments, access to expert clinicians and specialised ED units, to help our loved ones in their recovery journey and to acknowledge the impact of an eating disorder diagnosis on the entire family unit.