What can the helpline do for me?



date published

July 12, 2023, noon



What Can The Helpline Do For Me?

Have you considered contacting NEDIC’s helpline or live chat, but felt hesitant because you weren’t sure what to expect or if we can help? Let’s talk about the process. When you click the chat button, it asks for some basic information – we ask that you give us a name or nickname to use, and everything else is an optional field. When we chat, we’ll start off by asking you to provide your age and location – providing this is optional, but it helps us start gathering information about services and resources that may be appropriate. You can share as much as you feel comfortable with, and from there we can work together and provide in the moment support, resources, or information.

Below are a few examples of helpline queries. If your situation isn't exactly the same as one listed, don't worry — we're still here for you. If you have additional questions or concerns, feel free to reach out!

I think I have a problem but I don’t know where to start.

You deserve help at any stage of your journey, whether diagnosed or not. We can discuss your concerns, what worries you may have, and what it is you are experiencing or struggling with. Together, we can explore your current options and figure out potential next steps. Although some forms of treatment may require a diagnosis, there are options to explore if you do not have one or if obtaining a diagnosis is not an option. Depending on what’s relevant to your situation, we can provide you with resources, referrals and/or information that can help you on your way.

How do I know if I have an eating disorder? 

Let’s talk about what’s going on and what your options might be. A lot of people who ask these questions are experiencing concerning disordered eating behaviours. While we can’t diagnose, we may be able to provide some additional information and insight that what you’re going through is valid. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with an eating disorder or don’t meet diagnostic criteria, it can still impact your life, and you still deserve support.

I have an eating disorder and I feel really stuck in it and recovery feels impossible.

Eating disorders are really difficult illnesses to experience. It’s not uncommon to experience feelings of stuckness especially because eating disorder behaviours can be challenging to unlearn or replace. Recovery is often not linear, and the journey looks different for everyone. We can explore resources that may be helpful, or share information about support groups. We are happy to offer a safer space for you to share about your experiences (note that we do not provide therapy, but can share information about referrals). 

I’m ready to get help, but I don’t know how to ask my parents for their support in accessing treatment.

This is a very brave question. Let’s talk about it. We can discuss different ways to approach this difficult conversation and can offer some resources to share with your parents. These include the Caregivers’ Guide or Guide for Family pamphlet, which is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, Punjabi, Spanish, and Tagalog. We can also help you find providers in your area.

My child has opened up to me about their eating disorder. How do I help? What can I do?

It is wonderful that your child has opened up to you, and that you want to help them. NEDIC can help with finding resources in your area. We can also offer resources specific to your experience, including the Caregiver’s Guide and a checklist that may help if you visit your primary care provider to discuss your child’s symptoms. Depending on what’s relevant to your situation, we can also share referrals, and/or information to help you figure out potential next steps. 

I think my friend has an eating disorder. How can I help?

It can be really hard to watch your friend struggle. We can talk about what’s going on, what you might be able to do for your friend, and how to make sure you’re okay too.

I live in [small town/rural area] and I can’t find a provider near me. What are my options?

We can take a look to see what’s available near you. We can also see what resources might be available online. Many providers offer services virtually, and there are also some group options. Let’s talk more, and figure out a way forward together. 

I just want to look through your service provider directory on my own.

That’s great! You can always give us a call, chat with us online, or send us an email if you would like help, but you are welcome to look through the service provider directory on your own, too. You can access our Service Provider Directory here.

Tip: When you start searching, use the filters to filter for resources based on location, type of provider, type of treatment, accessibility, and other criteria. If you are in a rural/remote area with fewer options, you might need to use fewer filters than if you live in a city with abundant providers.

I think I am having a medical/psychiatric crisis. Can you help?

These situations can be extremely overwhelming and challenging to navigate, whether you’re personally experiencing an eating disorder or you’re trying to support someone who is. NEDIC’s helpline and live chat services are not equipped to provide intensive support in cases where you might be struggling with a medical or psychiatric crisis. If you or a person you are supporting is in an extremely high-risk situation, we advise you to access immediate medical attention through a visit to your nearest emergency room, medical clinic, calling 911, or contacting a crisis-specific mental health helpline such as Talk Suicide Canada or your local community option.

I am an educator, and I want to help my students have a positive body image.

That’s amazing! NEDIC can offer different resources depending on the age of your students and where in Canada you are located. Our free body image and self-esteem  curriculum, Beyond Images/Au-delà de l’image,  offers free online lesson plans for grades 4 through 8. Our Outreach and Education team also offers interactive workshops for teachers and other school staff as well as students of all ages - elementary to postsecondary. You can reach out to the team directly. 

I am a service provider looking for resources and information to better support my clients.

We would be happy to share some resources and/or courses with you that you can have or share with your clients!


The NEDIC helpline is open Monday through Thursday from 9am to 9pm, Fridays from 9am to 5pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 5pm (all times ET). You can call us toll-free at 1-866-633-4220 (416-340-4156 in the GTA) or chat with us online. You can also email the helpline at nedic@uhn.ca. We’re here to offer information, support, resources, and referrals to individuals living with eating disorders and their loved ones/supporters. Find more resources at nedic.ca/resources. 

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