The Minnesota Study studied the effects of starvation on behaviour. It illustrates well that the effects of starvation aren't restricted to people with eating disorders, they affect everyone. The good news is that with weight gain and improved nutrition the majority of these symptoms can be alleviated.
The Minnesota Study: effects of emi-starvation on behaviour and physical health (DOC, 3KB)

Please find a list of recommended self-help resources, including books and online forums below.

Self-help books (for sufferers):

Anorexia Nervosa:

  • ‘Anorexia nervosa: A recovery guide for sufferers, families and friends’, by Janet Treasure and June Alexander.

Bulimia Nervosa:

  • ‘Overcoming binge-eating’ (2nd edition), by Christopher G. Fairburn.
  • ‘Getting better bite by bite’, by Ulrike Schmidt and colleagues.


  • ‘Overcoming binge-eating’ (2nd edition), by Christopher G. Fairburn.

Negative body image:

  • ‘Overcoming body image problems’, by David Veale and colleagues
  • ‘The body image workbook’, by Thomas Cash.

Self-esteem and self-confidence:

  • ‘Boost your confidence’, by Melanie Fennell.


  • ‘Overcoming perfectionism’, by Roz Shafran and colleagues.

Managing difficult emotions:

  • ‘The dialectical behavior therapy skills workbook’, by Matthew McKay and Jeffrey C. Wood.

Recovery and well-being

  • ‘Maintaining recovery from eating disorders’, by Naomi Feigenbaum.

Self-help books (for carers):

  • ‘Skills-based learning for caring for a loved one with an eating disorder’: the new Maudlsey method by Janet Treasure, Grainne Smith and Anna Crane
  • Anorexia Nervosa: a survival guide for families, friends and sufferers by Jane Treasure.

General introductions to therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy:

  • ‘The little CBT workbook’, by Michael Sinclair and Belinda Hollingsworth.

Cognitive analytic therapy:

  • ‘Change for the better’, by Elizabeth Wilde McCormick

Online self-help and forums (for sufferers and carers):

Outside support

Information about conditions, treatments and local services.

NHS Choices website

Beat is the world’s largest eating disorders charity. It provides support and information to anyone affected by eating disorders, including sufferers, their family members and friends, professionals and anyone who wants to find out more about eating disorders.

The charity BEAT has a useful tool on their website for finding support near you called the HelpFinder.

Beat website

Beat Adult Helpline (over 18s) 0808 201 0677 (Monday to Friday, 12pm to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 4pm to 8pm) or email

Beat Youthline (for those aged 18 or under) 0808 801 0711 (Monday to Friday, 12pm to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 4pm to 8pm) or email

Beat StudentLine 0808 801 0811 (Monday to Friday, 12pm to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 4pm to 8pm) or email

These helplines are free to all from all phones. If you need support outside of the hours, you can use one of the above emails. Alternatively, Beat also offer one to one webchat (Monday to Friday, 12pm to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 4pm to 8pm) access on this website

Samaritans A confidential listening service for people who are suicidal or in despair. Sometimes what you’d really like is someone just to listen without judging you. Maybe then you’d figure out the answer yourself, or at least have got a load off your mind. That’s what the Samaritans are here for. Samaritans website Helpline: 116 123 (open 24 hours a day, seven days a week) or email

Sane SANE runs a national, out-of-hours helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. Sane website Helpline: 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm to 10.30pm, everyday)

Papyris Hopeline - prevention of young suicide

If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned for a young person who might be you can contact their helpline. This specialised telephone service is staffed by trained professionals who give support, practical advice and information to children, teenagers and young people up to the age of 35 who are worried about how they are feeling or worried for another young person.

Hopeline: 0800 068 4141, (10am-10pm weekdays, 2pm -10pm weekends)

Text 07786209697 or email:

Papyrus website

Mind Mind provides somewhere to turn to for advice and support for anyone with a mental health problem. Mind has a collection of information booklets that covers over 60 topics. When you are living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information about a condition, treatment options, or practical issues is vital.

Email: Mind website Information line: 0300 123 3393 or text 86463 (Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm)

Rethink Provides advice and information to everyone affected by mental health problems including people who use services, carers, family and friends. Rethink website Advice line: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Drinkline Drinkline is the national alcohol helpline. If you're worried about your own or someone else's drinking, you can call this free helpline, in complete confidence. Helpline: 0300 123 1110 (weekdays, 9am–8pm, weekends, 11am–4pm).

Relate Ringing the number above will get you through to a trained consultant who can help point you toward the help you need. Relate offers advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops, mediation, consultations and support face-to-face, by phone and through this website. Relate website Telephone: 0300 003 2324 (Monday to Thursday 8am–10pm, Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 9am–5pm)

Young Minds Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. If offers information to young people and children about mental health and emotional wellbeing. It also has publications for children, young people, parents and professionals that are free to download: titles include 'Young People Get Depressed Too' and 'Entering Adulthood'. Young Minds website

Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorder Association (SWEDA) SWEDA was set up to provide support and services to those affected by eating disorders and those who care for and about them. Their website has lots of resource links and leaflets. SWEDA website

Northumberland and Tyne NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) Offers over 20 free booklets on common mental health problems including sleep, depression, anger, stress, bereavement and panic. NTW website

Get Self Help Offers free downloadable cognitive-behaviour therapy self-help and therapist resources. Get Self Help website

NHS Choices: overcoming eating disorders information Information and advice about overcoming eating disorders for sufferers, family and friends. NHS Choices: eating disorders website

Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) CAB provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination. It is the UK's largest advice provider and is equipped to deal with any issue, from anyone, spanning debt and employment to housing and immigration plus everything in between.                               

Citizen's Advice Self-help website Telephone: 03444 111 444

Club Drug Clinic The Club Drug Clinic is an innovative service for adult clubbers and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) people who have developed problems with club drugs. It is a free service provided by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL). Its website also includes information for family and friends. Club Drug Clinic Website Telephone: 020 3315 6111 Email:

Talk To Frank FRANK helps you find out everything you might want to know about drugs and provides friendly, confidential advice. Talk To Frank website Telephone: 0300 123 6600 (free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year) Text: 82111 Live chat: 2pm-6pm, everyday

Victim Support

Victim support is an independent charity that provides specialist practical and emotional support to victims and witnesses of crime. You can talk to them whether or not you’ve reported the crime to the police. They can support you without the involvement of the criminal justice system and they will not contact them unless they feel someone is at risk.

Support Line: 08 08 16 89 111

Victims’ information service: 08 08 16 89 293

Victim support website

SMART SMART is a charity which seeks to actively promote mental health through purposeful activity. Offering training opportunities, projects and supported paid and voluntary work allows SMART to assist people in building practical and personal skills, whilst gaining experience and confidence. Current projects include: music, IT, gardening, bridge-building and cooking, all providing a wide range of activities to get involved in.

Visit SMART website

Mind Skills Development Service If you are currently unable to access training and employment opportunities due to mental ill health, the Mind Skills Development Service can help. It offers training and work experience to Kensington and Chelsea residents, including the opportunity to gain national, recognised qualifications. Mind Skills Development Service website

Connexions Centre Connexions can provide confidential advice and guidance to young people aged 13–19 (or aged up to 25 if they have special needs) on a range of issues from drug awareness to careers and employment. Contact: 0808 0013 219

The NICE Guidelines NICE website                                                                                                                 Telephone: +44 (0)300 323 0140

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) This website explains how to complain about NHS services which you feel have failed you

PALS website

Support groups may be useful for those who would like support between their assessment and the start of treatment.

Beat self-help and support groups Beat has a range of self-help and support groups catering for the differing needs of people affected by eating disorders. All current Beat groups are open to anyone within the 'client group' they specify. The groups can provide you with an opportunity to meet other people who may be in a similar situation, and to share experiences or just to listen. Find out more about Beat support groups.

Student Minds UCL Eating Disorders Peer Support Group

This is a support group for students with eating disorders, providing a safe and confidential environment to meet other students who know what it’s like to live with an eating disorder.

Address:25 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AY.

Contact: 01865 264168 or ucl@studentminds

Central London Self Help and Support Group for Sufferers The group meets on the second and fourth Wednesday evening of the month. You must call before attending the group. No calls or groups in August. All Souls Clubhouse (blue front door), 141 Cleveland Street, Westminster, London W1T 6QG Contact: Sue 07957 641 449 (Sunday 9pm to 10pm  only; Sue will not respond to voicemail or text messages) Fee: £5 each meeting attended

Sweet Cavanagh Sweet Cavanagh is a London-based social enterprise that provides support and employment for women leaving treatment for addictions and eating disorders. It acts as a peer-led aftercare service giving women a safe environment to build their self-esteem and adjust to leaving inpatient care. Its main aim is help women stay clean, sober and healthy while they return to society and grow their strength. Each member is given the tools and training to design and make jewellery.


Meanwhile Wildlife Garden Meanwhile Wildlife Garden has nature in mind. Their project aims to assist those who have experienced mental health difficulties though horticultural training and social enterprise. Interpersonal and practical skills can be developed, whilst aiding recovery. Meanwhile Gardens, 154 Kensal Road, London, W10 5BN Meanwhile Wildlife Garden website

Health Trainers Health trainers are local people who can offer support with mental and emotional wellbeing as well as other issues. They can provide Kensington and Chelsea residents with up to six one-to-one sessions and can also supply details of other local services, which may be of use.

Health Visitors in Kensington and Chelsea website

Studio Upstairs Studio Upstairs is much more than an artist studio; it is a therapeutic community that uses creativity to support people suffering from mental ill health in London and Bristol. Art therapists are on hand to assist both practically and emotionally as is the supportive network of artists. You do not need to be experienced to become a member of Studio Upstairs. Studio Upstairs Facebook page Contact:

Book Break Book Break reading groups operate in libraries, community centres and other settings across Kensington and Chelsea. They aim to assist with relaxation, concentration, memory and confidence whilst developing interpersonal skills within a social network. During a session short stories, poems and books are read aloud and analysed as a group; however, there is no pressure to read aloud or to contribute. Book Break website

Beat – One-to-One web chat One-to-One Web chat is Beat’s online service where you can talk to one of Beat’s advisors via an instant messaging service. Beat’s advisors are highly trained and available to talk to anyone affected by an eating disorder.

Monday to Friday: 12pm to 8pm

Saturday-Sunday: 4pm to 6pm

Beat – Online chat rooms

Beat provide daily support groups via online chat rooms. There are many different chat rooms to access, including ones specifically for students and family members.

Click here to access the online chat rooms.

Sane - support forum

Sane's support forum provides a space where you can offer and receive mutual support through sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences of the difficulties and challenges that can arise from living with mental illness. Sane support forum website

Support Hope & Recovery Online Network (SHaRON)

This is an online peer support based e-health system, supported by NHS clinical professionals, especially for people who have mental health conditions. It connects individuals to one another and their care providers. SHaRON also provides specific help and support to anyone with an eating disorder who would benefit from access to a 24 hours a day clinical, peer to peer or expert patient support.

SHaRON website

Mind Service User Network Mind’s focus on better mental health has led them to create a network for current and past users of mental health services. This network – Mind Service User Network, or SUN – encourages people to voice opinions about mental health services through voluntary opportunities and regular meetings. Mind website Kensington & Chelsea

Beat Carers' Forums Beat offers online forums for carers to access, to talk to other people who have supported someone with an eating disorder.

Beat Forums website and Open Groups

Eating disorders and carers The London Carers Group is a self-help group run by and for carers of people with eating disorders or those living with someone who they think might have an eating disorder. London Carers Group website

The New Maudsley Approach This website provides parents and carers of people with eating disorders with a toolkit to help educate, empower and equip them to deal more effectively with the stressful caring role. The New Maudsley Approach website


Provides a detailed section for carers, including information about support services, employment issues, carers’ rights, carers’ assessments and carers’ allowance. The ‘Your Rights in Health’ section details the Mental Health Act, the Mental Capacity Act and access to treatment. Directgov website

Carers Direct

An NHS service for carers including a website and phone line. The website includes a Money and Legal section, including details of available benefits.

NHS Choices Carers Direct 

Telephone helplines and forums

Carers UK

Offers expert telephone advice, information and support to carers.

Carers UK website

Telephone helpline: 0808 808 7777. Open Mondays and Tuesdays between 10am and 4pm.


Carers UK Forum is an online community of carers and availbale to carers UK members 24 hours every day.

Carers Trust

Provides support to carers and have schemes in most parts of England and Wales.

Carers Trust website

The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IOPPN)

Dedicated eating disorders research team providing downloadable resources, including a ‘toolkit for carers’,

IOP website

Young Minds

Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. It offers information to young people and children about mental health and emotional wellbeing. It also has publications for children, young people, parents and professionals that are free to download: titles include 'Young People Get Depressed Too' and 'Entering Adulthood'. Young Minds website Parents’ Helpline (free): 0808 802 5544 (Monday-Friday, 9.30am-4pm) or ask your enquiry via their online form.

Al-Anon Offers advice and support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not. Al-Anon website Helpline: 0800 0086 811 (10am–10pm, every day)

Mental Health Carers Monthly Meeting Join Kensington and Chelsea’s Mental Health Carers Association for their monthly meeting, which provides support and a place to share information with others in similar situations. They also have voluntary opportunities available in their office. Link to more information

Mental Health Carers’ Support Service Kensington and Chelsea’s Mental Health Carers’ Support Service offers advice and support for people looking after someone suffering with mental ill health. Their holistic approach means they provide leisure activities, respite holidays for carers’ and service users, education and training, health and well-being programmes and much more. Contact:

Mental Health Carer Support Group

Mental Health Carer Support Group for carers of people experiencing mental health problems takes place on the first Wednesday of every month, from 1pm - 3pm at Pall Mall Mental Health Centre 150 Barlby Road, London W10 6BS. Light refreshments are provided. For more information you can email Jim O'Donnell at or ring 07718 668764 or email Nicky Lancaster at or ring 07718 668764

Princess Royal Trust for Carers

Provides information, advice and support services for carers.

Princess Royal Trust for Carers website

Phone: 0844 800 4361


Early help for Families Team

Provides information and support services to young carers in Kensington and Chelsea

Email: 020 7598 4601/ 020 7361 4129

At Vincent Square we regularly recommend the Recovery Record App to our clients. It is a free iPhone and Android app that can help with eating disorder management from the privacy of your phone.

It allows you to:

  • Keep a food, mood and thought diary.
  • Take control of your recovery by personalising your programme, rewards, records and reminders.
  • Share data with your treatment team and people you trust.
  • Earn rewards and receive virtual gifts.
  • Be part of a supportive community.
  • Learn about healthy eating and body image.

Find out more and download the app from the Recovery Record website.

Quick links