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Do's and Don'ts for Helping Friends

  • Do learn as much as you can about eating disorders and the resources on campus.
  • Don't diagnose. Express concern for your friend's health and well-being.
  • Do contact a campus resource for advice.
  • Don't argue. Listen and talk in a caring way about your specific concerns.
  • Do recommend an evaluation by a psychologist, nutritionist, or medical professional.
  • Don't try to be hero or a rescuer. Eating disorders require professional help.
  • Do offer to go with your friend to an appointment.
  • Don't gossip.
  • Do seek professional advice if you are concerned about the physical or emotional safety of your friend.
  • Do check back in. Let your friend know you are available to talk further.
  • Don't assume you have all the answers. Ask your friend how you can be supportive.
  • Do get support for yourself from one of the campus resources.
  • Don't get impatient. Eating issues often take time to resolve.
  • Do be a good role model around food, exercise, and weight issues.

Last Updated: 10/2/08