National Eating Disorders Association

It’s Time to Talk About Eating Disorders (on Facebook)

Eating disorders are surrounded by myths, stereotypes, and stigma, which can make talking about them feel like a challenge. One in 10 Americans will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Yet despite their prevalence, those affected often experience deep feelings of isolation. Friends and loved ones can feel lost and unsure about how to help. 

These complex illnesses are a serious public health crisis – they have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder. Suicide is a leading cause of death. Eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, or background. But with treatment and a strong support system, recovery IS possible. That’s why NEDA and Facebook have joined forces to make sure that no one has to suffer in silence. Together, we’re helping people start the conversation and we’re putting resources in the hands of those in need.

How NEDA & Facebook Help:

NEDA is honored to partner with Facebook in the fight against eating disorders. Their innovative tools and commitment to the cause have helped us reach millions with the support and resources they deserve. Thanks to our collective efforts, users are able to…

  • Chat with a NEDA Helpline volunteer in real time by sending us a message on Facebook Messenger directly from our page.
  • Learn about warning signs & symptoms and ways to reach out to a friend in Facebook’s guide on eating disorders.
  • Flag concerning posts through Facebook and Instagram’s reporting tools. Facebook reviews these posts and delivers support resources (including the NEDA Helpline) to those in need.
  • Access NEDA’s online screening. Advertisements donated by Facebook encourage people to take the confidential eating disorders screening and connect directly with help. 

How You Can Help:

Social media is a place to build community, support the people you care about, and make connections with new friends who make your life better. Friends and loved ones can play a critical role in recovery. Here’s what you can do to help…

  • Take the confidential screening. Whether you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, the screening can help determine if it’s time to seek help.
  • Share the screening with your networks. Everybody knows somebody with an eating disorder – you never know who might need it.
  • Report worrisome posts on Facebook and Instagram. If you see something that may indicate someone is struggling with eating disorders, self-harm, or suicide, say something. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the Warning Signs & Symptoms and learn How to Help a Loved One.
  • Contact the NEDA Helpline through Facebook, or by calling 800.931.2237.

With your help, we can ensure that everyone has a chance to lead happy, healthy lives free of eating disorders. 

Get the Facts

  • Over 30 million people will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives, but the majority of them don’t get the life-saving help they need. 
  • Individuals with eating disorders have significantly higher mortality rates when compared to the overall population, and suicide is one of the leading causes of death. 
  • Up to 95% of those affected by eating disorders also experience co-occurring mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • About 1 in 5 people who are seeking crisis text support for eating disorders are also reaching our for help with suicidal thoughts, self-harm, or both.