Eating Disorder Hotlines for 24/7 Crisis Help

Anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), and other common eating disorders can be debilitating conditions, taking a huge toll on mental, physical, and emotional health.

Several treatments are available for these conditions, and recovery is always possible. However, these interventions tend to be time-consuming, and sometimes, you may need a more urgent response. In these cases, a number of eating disorder or mental health hotlines may be able to help.

These services can be accessed immediately, 24/7, over the phone, or sometimes even via text. And on the other end are trained volunteers willing and ready to listen to your concerns and help you get through whatever troubling situation you’re facing.

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    Eating Disorder Helplines

    There are several different hotlines, text lines, and other similar services for eating disorder help. While this list represents the most up-to-date information at the time of publishing, numbers may change. If you’re having trouble reaching any hotline, double-check information through these service providers directly.

    Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders

    ANAD Hotline

    The ANAD helpline is a long-time offering of the organization, and one of the oldest eating disorder helplines still running. The service is free and available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST. [1]

    Volunteers can help provide emotional support and program referrals or recommendations to people with eating disorders. ANAD also recommends calling if: [1]

    • You have general questions about eating disorders
    • You think you may have an eating disorder
    • You think someone you know may have an eating disorder
    • You need help approaching someone else about their eating disorder
    • You’re looking for more resources or information about eating disorder therapy or treatment programs

    National Alliance for Eating Disorders Hotline

    The National Alliance for Eating Disorders (NEED) is a longstanding non-profit dedicated to helping those who struggle with these mental disorders. Their hotline is slightly different from others, as it will put you in touch with a licensed mental health professional instead of a volunteer. [2]

    The hotline can be reached at 1-866-662-1235 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. [2]

    The service is free, and callers are encouraged to ask about treatment for different types of eating disorders, help with their symptoms or those of a friend, or simply ask for emotional support if they’re going through a tough time.

    The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness Helpline

    The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness Helpline offers support and resources for individuals dealing with eating disorders. Whether someone is struggling with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or body image issues, the helpline is there to provide compassionate assistance on the journey towards recovery and healing.


    Mental Health Hotlines

    Mental health hotlines aim to ensure that individuals in need have a safe space to talk about their feelings, receive guidance, and access appropriate help and resources for their mental well-being.

    Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

    The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline acts as a national suicide prevention lifeline. The service can be reached by dialing or texting 988. [4] If you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide, it’s imperative to seek out help right away.

    The lifeline is free, like most other eating disorder and mental health hotlines. The service is confidential, so you can feel more comfortable discussing sensitive issues and concerns.

    Calling the lifeline will put you in touch with a volunteer trained to help people in distress, and they can also offer prevention and crisis resources across the United States or help recommend a local healthcare provider who may be able to assist you further.

    Crisis Text Line

    Crisis Text Line is a confidential support service that provides help and resources to individuals in crisis. Through text messaging, trained crisis counselors offer a listening ear, emotional support, and information on available resources.

    • Text “HELLO” to 741741

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline

    Unlike ANAD and NEAD, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) doesn’t deal specifically with eating disorders. The nonprofit does, however, deal with all manner of mental health issues, including concerns over disordered eating.

    The SAMHSA helpline may also be a good option for those who experience co-occurring mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, especially if those conditions are contributing to their current difficulties. While callers can certainly speak about concerns with distorted body image or options for treating eating disorders, they can also receive broader and more expansive information on mental health in general.

    Another advantage of the SAMHSA helpline is that it’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service is also free and offered in Spanish as well as English. It can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). [3]

    National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline

    The NAMI helpline offers information, resources, and compassionate assistance for individuals seeking help for mental health concerns. Staffed by trained volunteers and professionals, the NAMI Helpline provides a safe space to discuss mental health challenges, access resources, and receive referrals to local support services.

    National Domestic Violence Hotline

    The National Domestic Violence Hotline is dedicated to empowering survivors of domestic violence and raising awareness about the issue to promote safety, healing, and prevention.

    LGBTQ+ National Hotline

    The LGBTQ+ National Hotline addresses a wide range of concerns, including coming out, relationships, mental health, and more. It aims to provide an affirming and inclusive space for individuals to share their stories and find understanding and assistance on their journeys.

    Veterans Crisis Line

    The Veterans Crisis Line is a confidential support service provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for veterans, service members, and their families. The goal of the Veterans Crisis Line is to ensure that veterans and their loved ones receive the help and support they need during difficult times, fostering a safe and supportive space for those who have served our country.

    • Phone: 988 (Press 1)
    • Text: 838255

    Support-Related Hotlines and Resources

    Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food and Nutrition Hotline

    Whether someone has questions about meal planning, special dietary needs, weight management, or general nutrition, the Food and Nutrition Hotline serves as a trusted resource to promote informed and healthy food choices for individuals and families.

    Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH)

    ASDAH is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting size-inclusive healthcare, body respect, and ending weight stigma. They advocate for the Health at Every Size (HAES) approach, emphasizing the importance of holistic health and well-being independent of body size. Their website offers resources, webinars, and information on body positivity and HAES principles.

    National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)

    NEDA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals affected by eating disorders. While not solely focused on body positivity, they promote body acceptance and work towards eliminating body image issues. They offer helplines, resources, and educational materials on eating disorders and body image concerns.

    The Body Positive

    The Body Positive is a non-profit organization that empowers individuals to cultivate self-love and a positive body image. They offer workshops, educational programs, and online resources to promote body acceptance and resilience. Their approach emphasizes self-care, self-compassion, and body neutrality.

    Be Nourished

    Be Nourished is a body trust organization that offers workshops, trainings, and resources centered around body acceptance and healing from disordered eating. They emphasize the importance of body autonomy, intuitive eating, and challenging diet culture.

    The Center for Mindful Eating

    The Center for Mindful Eating is a non-profit organization that promotes mindful eating practices to support a healthy relationship with food and body. They offer resources, webinars, and professional training to promote a compassionate and non-judgmental approach to eating.


    What Happens When You Call an Eating Disorder Hotline?

    Each eating disorder hotline service operates a little bit differently, so what happens after you call may vary, especially if you’re calling a suicide prevention hotline or helpline designed to answer more urgent and immediate concerns.

    With some hotlines, you may first encounter an automated answering service. In these cases, you’ll be asked to choose prompts to connect you to the right type of volunteer. Most of the time, however, a human will immediately pick up the call. This is especially true for suicide prevention hotlines and other similar services.

    The people who pick up the phone will either be a trained volunteer or a healthcare professional. In either case, they’ll have training on the types of questions to ask you and how to best lead the conversation.

    Depending on your answers and your current state of mind, your call may include:

    • Emotional support or therapy
    • Referrals to a nearby eating disorder program, hospital, or health professional
    • Further information on eating disorders or other specific questions you may have

    The professional on the other end of the line won’t hang up until they’re sure you’ve gotten all the information you need. In the case of a crisis, they may call 9-1-1 for you or stay with you on the phone until they’re otherwise sure you’re safe.

    Why it’s Important to Call an Eating Disorder Hotline

    Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions, and when they go untreated, they can lead to a number of serious symptoms, including death. Anyone with an eating disorder or signs of disordered eating needs to seek out appropriate help.

    Even if you haven’t been officially diagnosed with an eating disorder, it may be helpful to call a hotline if you or a loved one:

    • Experience severe picky eating (to the point of malnourishment)
    • Have an extreme fear of gaining weight
    • Are frequently eating large amounts of food, with a loss of control over how much or what is eaten
    • Are frequently using excessive exerciselaxatives, fasting, or other methods to “make up” for food you’ve eaten

    These are all common signs of eating disorders or suggestions that deeper issues may be in play.

    Calling an eating disorder hotline can help provide you with additional resources to seek help for yourself or help convince a loved one to find help. They can provide support if you’re going through a difficult time, either with your own behavior or that of a loved one. And they can help you secure a referral for treatment.

    Because no matter how upsetting disordered eating may be, the important thing to remember is that all eating disorders can be treated and that recovery is always possible.

    1. Eating Disorders Helpline. (n.d.). National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD). Accessed February 2024.
    2. National Alliance for Eating Disorders. (n.d.). National Alliance for Eating Disorders. Accessed February 2024.
    3. SAMHSA’s National Helpline. (n.d.). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Accessed February 2024.
    4. 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. (n.d.). 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Accessed February 2024.