Supporting an Employee with an eating disorder

Isolation 14 8 9cm

Supporting anyone with an ED can be tricky as there are no set rules on how to approach this as it differs so vastly from person to person. Having been through eating disorder recovery and been working full time through this, I will just use some of the things that helped me.

  • Understanding that in order to stick to a meal plan, there might need to be reasonable adjustments made to lunch breaks or allowing someone to eat at regular intervals (for example, eating snacks at set times).
  • Understanding that a work lunch may be tricky, planning in advance for these will help, knowing menus, choices etc.
  • Most importantly, making no comments about what they are eating, how much, how often, as this can be very triggering for someone attempting recovery.
  • Understanding that the person may not be social during mealtimes in the workplace. Sometimes eating in front of people is the worst thing for someone suffering with an eating disorder.
  • Giving leeway with medical appointments or monitoring. When someone is suffering with an eating disorder, regular checks and appointments may be necessary in order to keep or get them to a stable point.
  • Do some research to better understand eating disorders and what it might be like for someone who suffers. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and eating disorders are much more widely talked about now.