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Support groups

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This page provides information on support groups available for people affected by eating disorders and those that care for them.

Well Together - Online Support Groups

To support the eating disorder community during the COVID-19 crisis, EDV are running a range of online support groups. The groups are led by facilitators who have lived experience with an eating disorder.

What do the groups involve?

These groups give people the opportunity to draw upon the support, experience and skills of others facing similar issues. It is an open space to discuss what you are struggling with and to reflect on the current challenges.

Which group should I attend?

It is entirely up to the participants to select which group they would prefer to attend. Attendance is not based on diagnosis, but on what difficulties the individual would like support on. We welcome people to attend these groups at any stage of their wellness and recovery journey. Participants are welcome to attend both groups if they wish. Please note that you must be 18 or older to attend groups.

How are the groups run?

Groups will be held online via Zoom and participants are required to register beforehand. Groups are free to attend, thanks to the support of the Victorian Government.

REACH – for restrictive and compensatory behaviours

This group is targeted at individuals who struggle with restriction as a feature of their eating disorder. We welcome people at any stage of the recovery journey. This includes individuals who are restricting their intake, struggling with thoughts to restrict and those who may be using compensatory behaviours in addition to challenges with restriction.

REACH meets every second Tuesday online 11am – 12.30pm via Zoom. 

View dates and book

BEYOND – for binge eating and compensatory behaviours

This group is targeted at individuals who struggle with binge eating as a feature of their eating disorder. We welcome people at any stage of the recovery journey. This includes individuals who struggle with binge eating, thoughts to binge eat and those who may be using compensatory behaviours in addition to challenges with binge eating.

BEYOND meets every second Thursday online 11am – 12.30pm via Zoom. 

View dates and book

COSMO – for those experiencing an eating disorder and other health conditions

In this group we welcome individuals struggling with any type of eating disorder, that are also having difficulties with other health conditions such as (but not limited to) alcohol or drug use, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, autism. It is a space where participants can seek support for these challenges that is safe and judgement free and where the complexity of the lived experience can be shared and supported.

COSMO meets monthly on a Wednesday from 11am – 12.30pm via Zoom.

View dates and book

BLOOM – for those in the LGBTIQA+ community experiencing an eating disorder

This group is exclusively for the LGBTQIA+ community who are experiencing eating disorders. It is a safe space to discuss the dynamic challenges of eating disorders, body image, gender identity and sexuality and how this is impacting you at the moment.

BLOOM meets every second Wednesday from 11am – 12.30pm via Zoom

View dates and book

VIVA – eating disorders and larger bodies

In this group we welcome individuals struggling with any type of eating disorder, that identify as being in a larger body. It is a space where participants can seek support and explore topics such as stigma, body diversity and advocacy.

VIVA meets on the second Thursday of the month at 11am.

View dates and book

For family and friends

rALLY group

Who is the group suitable for?

Families and support people who are currently experiencing or want to provide family led care for their loved one. For example:

  • Families doing Family Based Treatment (FBT)
  • Families / support people who using an approach where they are closely involved in meal preparation, meal support and distress tolerance

The person with the eating disorder may be of any age but more likely to be child/adolescent or young adult.

What does the group involve?

The rALLY Group is designed to educate and support families and support people who are playing an active role in the recovery of someone with an eating disorder.

The sessions will skill up participants in understanding eating disorders, meal support, nutrition, distress tolerance, school/workplace strategies etc. It will also provide time and mechanisms for connection and peer support between participants.

Who will facilitate the groups?

rALLY groups will be facilitated by people who have lived experience of caring for someone with an eating disorder.

How much does it cost?

rALLY groups are $5 to attend. Free for EDV and Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA) members.

View dates and book

Renew group – currently on hold!

Who is the group suitable for?

Families and carers who have been impacted by a loved one with an enduring eating disorder. This group is appropriate for people who have been caring for someone for longer than 2 years.

What does the group involve?

The RENEW groups are run with a specific topic and an expert presenter to introduce you to the information and concepts pertinent to your wellness. Following the presentation there will be space for open discussion amongst the group, supported by facilitators that also have a lived experience caring for a loved one with an eating disorder.

Who will facilitate the groups?

Renew groups will be facilitated by people who have lived experience of caring for someone with an eating disorder.

How much does it cost?

Renew groups are $5 to attend. Free for EDV and Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA) members.

Non EDV family support groups:

strive Groups

strive Groups are run by our friends at Eating Disorders Families Australia. 

strive carer support groups:

  • Provide a safe, supportive place for carers to meet each month in a semi-structured environment which allows for both knowledge sharing and peer support
  • Provide information and resources to assist parents and carers to understand eating disorders and their integral role in recovery
  • Encourage empowerment of carers in their role in the recovery of the person with the eating disorder.
  • Are run by trained volunteer carers, for carers.

Attendees will be asked to join EDFA for a $25 annual family membership.

FAQs

Who runs the groups?

All EDV facilitators have personal lived experience with an eating disorder or have been a carer. Some are working professionally or studying in fields such as counselling, peer support and psychology. You can find profiles of some of the facilitators below.

Do I need to book? Why?

Yes, we require you to book in if you are planning on attending. You can book by finding the event under the Events tab, and find the corresponding event.

We honour your time and the time of our facilitators. If we need to cancel a group for any reason we want to give you as much notice as possible to minimise inconvenience.

Support groups do not run if only one person is booked in, and that instance we would contact you to advise that it is not going ahead and offer one-to-one support to you via the EDV Hub.

I’m under 18 – can I attend?

Unfortunately, the groups are currently only for people 18+.

How do you keep the groups safe?

EDV uses a set of guidelines to ensure support groups are recovery-focused and non-triggering for group members. The guidelines are discussed at the beginning of each group.

How do I give feedback on groups?

If you have recently attended a support group and would like to fill in a survey to provide feedback click here.

Bookings

Book into an EDV support group via our Eventbrite page.

EDV support groups require a booking to attend.

Book now

Meet the EDV Support Group Facilitators

Rachael Millsom (she/her)

Rachael is passionate about both the power of nature and of people coming together in groups to support one another.  Rachael believes in the strength and resilience within each of us and how positive connections with others and nature can grow this.  Rachael has experience as a counsellor and with groups and is one of the co-facilitators of the Beyond group.

Is Hay (they/them)

Is Hay (they/them) is a disabled and queer young person working in the disability, youth and mental health spaces, as well as is a writer. After recovering from their eating disorder in 2019, they are grateful to get to connect to their community as an online support group facilitator at EDV.

Bridie Mannion (she/her)

Bridie has a background in psychology and facilitation, with a particular interest in women’s mental health, youth work and complex trauma. She loves learning about people and making meaningful connections.  

Sarah Bryan (she/her)

Sarah works in the mental health and eating disorders sector as a coach and peer practitioner. Since her recovery, she has been a fierce advocate for changing the way eating disorders and body image challenges are perceived. Sarah is passionate about body diversity, challenging weight stigma and diet culture. She co-facilitates the BEYOND group and enjoys supporting participants on their journey to recovery through connection and shared experience.

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