Outpatient Resources for College Students

College girl in grass

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Director of Content and Social Media at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Being in recovery from an eating disorder is in fact a life long commitment. Because of the chronic nature of the disease, it is possible to be in full remission from eating disorder behaviors, but many of the factors that make a person susceptible to having disorder often remain.

This might include biological influences, like character or personality traits and genetic factors that may not necessarily change of eating disorder treatment.

Having this understanding can give a helpful perspective for the future, as well as give encouragement for the individual who may be in recovery from an eating disorder.

The Value of Recovery Support in College

Eating disorder treatment transpires over different levels and degrees based on the acuity of the illness and the severity of the issues and behaviors that a person may be struggling with. Often, more intense forms of treatment are needed to provide adequate intervention measures, such as a period of inpatient hospitalization, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, or even intensive outpatient care.Girls in the grass

For the college student who may be recovering from an eating disorder, it is often necessary to take a hiatus or leave from school in order to focus on eating disorder treatment and to address concerning needs, like medical and psychiatric stabilization.

There is often a misconception that once treatment ends, a person in recovery may not necessarily need ongoing support, but this could not be farther from the truth.

Especially for a college student who may be experiencing various stressors from their environment and as a result of the overall transition to school, outpatient resources for ongoing support are even more necessary. While there may no longer be the need for acute treatment interventions, it is always wise to be set up with some form of outpatient support before transitioning back to college.

Types of Outpatient Support Available

Previous treatment teams can be valuable assets, in terms of helping a college student set up outpatient resources. This may vary based on the individual but may include having an outpatient therapist, dietitian, psychiatrist and medical physician with whom the student is seeing periodically. Other forms of outpatient support might include community recovery groups for eating disorders.

Many college campuses also have mental health resources available for their students, which might include supports groups and access to a therapist and/or dietitian. If you are in recovery from an eating disorder and making the transition to college, take the time to set up outpatient resources to support your ongoing recovery efforts.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What have you found to be helpful resources for recovery while in college?


Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.


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 August 30, 2016
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com