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Range of services remain vital in supporting people affected by eating disorders

Bodywhys: The Eating Disorders Association of Ireland can report a 10% increase in use of the organisation’s support services in 2016. This includes:
  • A 33% increase in email support requests.
  • A 30% increase in attendance at face-to-face support groups.
  • A 14% increase in attendance at BodywhysConnect, online support groups.
  • That 10% of helpline calls and 11% of those who attended face-to-face eating disorder support group were men.
  • That 34% of callers to the Bodywhys helpline had experienced an eating disorder for over 10 years

Harriet Parsons, Training & Development Manager with Bodywhys said: “It is clear that people affected by eating disorders require a range of support services. One-in-five of support requests (22%) to Bodywhys were through our helpline. Over half of support contacts (56%) came through online services. Email support in particular represented the largest element of support (38%) provided during 2016.”

Parsons added “Increased attendance at both our online and face-to-face groups shows that people want to hear from others going through similar experiences. Support groups can play a role in lessening feelings of isolation which are common amongst those affected by eating disorders. The growth in email support shows that personalised, one-to-one support is another key way of reaching people affected by eating disorders” said Parsons.

“Family members and friends are also impacted when a person has an eating disorder. Bodywhys is here for anyone who needs support, information and understanding.” added Parsons.

People can and do recover from eating disorders


Notes for Editors

  • The Department of Health & Children estimates that 200,000 people in Ireland are affected by eating disorders.
  • According to the Health Research Board, in 2016, eating disorders represented 12% of all child and adolescent admissions to psychiatric units and hospitals.
  • Bodywhys is the national voluntary organisation supporting people affected by eating disorders


  • Bodywhys Helpline Number: LoCall 1890 200 444



For further information, please contact:

Harriet Parsons, Training & Development Manager
Tel: 01 283 4963

Barry Murphy, Communications Officer
Tel: 01 283 4963 or Mobile: 087 7769708