NEDA Navigators are volunteers that have experience navigating the complex and overwhelming systems and emotions involved with the diagnosis and process of seeking help for an eating disorder. Volunteers are trained by NEDA staff and Clinical Advisors and NEDA founders Douglas Bunnell, PhD and Ilene Fishman, LCSW, to be a knowledgeable, informal source of support and guidance to those who are new to the illness.
NEDA Navigators* provide support by:
- Helping you find local resources, treatment options and support groups
- Directing you to helpful websites, books, articles, NEDA resources, etc.
- Sharing their personal stories to provide insight, strategies for self-care and hope for recovery
- Encouraging you to support your loved one to seek professional help (or seek help for yourself)
- Being a listening ear as you are going through what can be a difficult journey
- Helping you navigate insurance issues for treatment coverage
- Providing a listing of organizations that offer treatment scholarships and research studies offering free treatment
- Decreasing feelings of isolation
*NEDA Navigators are not treatment professionals and do not provide mental health services. They provide informal, personal support through a difficult journey, and direct individuals and families to the professional help they need.
Request a NEDA Navigator
Please complete this survey, and include your city, state, and any specific aspects of the issue you are dealing with in order to help us determine the best NEDA Navigator match for you. We can match you by proximity to your location and/or similarity of experience (type of eating disorder, gender, co-occurring conditions such as substance abuse or depression, etc). We will send your request to a NEDA Navigator within one day of receiving your message. NEDA Navigators respond to new messages at least once per week. For immediate assistance, call the NEDA Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.
Become a NEDA Navigator
If you meet the NEDA Navigator criteria below and are interested in upcoming trainings, complete our application form and we will contact you when new NEDA Navigator needs match your location or demographic/experience listed. To be considered as a NEDA Navigator, please take the initial step of completing this brief survey.
New trainings are scheduled based on need for NEDA Navigators in specific areas, by demographic or type of experience (i.e. males in recovery, supported a partner, etc.)
NEDA Navigator Criteria
You must be able to answer "TRUE" to all of the following:
- I have personally experienced an eating disorder and am now well into my recovery OR I supported a friend or family member who struggled and they are now well into their recovery.
- I am not an eating disorders professional (treatment provider for clients with eating disorders).
- I agree to conduct all NEDA Navigator activity in my NEDA-issued email account and understand that use of my personal email account for Navigator activity is a breach of confidentiality.
- I commit to checking my NEDA Navigator email and responding to all new messages a minimum of once per week.
- I will read all documents in the NEDA Navigator Guidebook prior to training.
- I will attend, or view the recording of the monthly ongoing NEDA Navigator training.
- I will track and submit a record of my NEDA Navigator activity each month.
- I will complete online program evaluation surveys twice per year.