Helplines that are Available to Help You during a Crisis in the Holiday Season

Contributor: Leigh Bell, BA, writer for Eating Disorder Hope

You just can’t eat that sandwich on your meal plan.

You just can’t avoid the bag of chips in the pantry. You just can’t keep down dinner.

You can. But you may need some help, especially during the holidays. One line of defense is your friends, family, and counselor. Can you reach out to them? If you’re unable or don’t want to, several helplines exist to help you through rough spots of recovery.

It’s not unusual in times of crisis people want to speak with someone they don’t know. This can empower them to discuss feelings differently than they would a friend or family member.

Get Help!

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), has a toll free, confidential helpline open from 9am to 9pm Monday through Thursday and Friday from 9am to 5pm (EST).

Depressed young woman sitting at home.The helpline is operated by a trained volunteer who can offer support and guidance. Also, during the same hours of operation, you can chat online with a support person. Find that resource here http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support.

Another helpline is offered by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD). The number is (630) 577-1330 and it’s available Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm (CST).

Sometimes talking feels like too much. ANAD also offers a special email address ([email protected]) for those who may prefer email of over the phone.

If you need assistance outside of these hours, reach out to 24/7 Crisis Call Center. Like the aforementioned resources, Crisis Support is free. The number is (775) 784-8090 or you can text “ANSWER” to 839863.

If someone in crisis receives immediate support, it lessens the risk of harm to self and to others is greatly reduced, according to the center.

Many other helplines exist for general crisis support. You can also go on the web to an online support group for help, but take precautions because you may stumble onto a pro-eating disorder site.

Whatever way you reach out for support, be sure you find the help you need. When you’re in early recovery from an eating disorder, temptations to slip up are normal, but remember you are in control of your recovery. There isn’t anyone or anything that can take that away.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Have you utilized helplines during your eating disorder recovery? How were they helpful to you?


Leigh BellAbout the Author: Leigh Bell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in Creative Writing and French from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is a published author, journalist with 15 years of experience, and a recipient of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism. Leigh is recovered from a near-fatal, decade-long battle with anorexia and the mother of three young, rambunctious children.


The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 12, 2015
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.