Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity. Since 1989 they have been providing support to people suffering from eating disorders, their friends and families, and other caregivers, and working to raise awareness and understanding of these serious mental illnesses.

Beat’s vision is an end to the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders. They run helplines that anyone can call or email if they’re worried about themselves or about someone they know, or if they need someone to talk to. Beat also create spaces where people affected by eating disorders can talk to each other, with online support groups and message boards available for people to share their experiences.

“I phoned the Youthline during a time when things were hard to deal with and there was nobody around me who could really understand what I was going through. Speaking to someone on the helpline was the best decision I made and it made me feel more confident to talk to others about how I was feeling and gave me the confidence that I was worthy of getting some support.”
– Youthline caller.
“I have found [the session] helpful as the people I have met on here are all going through the same as me. The people I speak to normally are great listeners but never know what to say.”
– Online recovery group attendee.

Outside of providing direct support to sufferers and their loved ones, Beat campaign for better understanding, challenging the stigma and misconceptions that surround eating disorders. They provide training in schools and workplaces so that people are aware of the signs and symptoms, and encourage healthcare professionals to recognise eating disorders as mental illnesses, rather than looking for physical signs. Their aim is to get people into treatment as early as possible, increasing the chance of a full and sustained recovery.