If you need urgent help or are very worried about someone’s mental health, call 111 or go to A&E. If you feel like harming or hurting yourself or other people, call 999 and ask for the police. If you already receive support from mental health services, you will have a care plan. This will include details of who you should call in a crisis. If you can’t find your care plan, ring 111. To talk to someone, you can ring The Samaritans on 116 123 (freephone number, 24 hours) or Saneline on 0300 304 7000 (between 4:30pm and 10:30pm).


In order to access NHS support with your eating problem, you should talk to your GP first. If you want some advice about how to approach your GP, see Beat’s leaflet about Talking to Your GP. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines about eating disorders on the www.nice.org.uk  website may also be a helpful tool to enable you to put into words what you are experiencing.

Below is a list of the services available through a GP or specialist mental health referral:

  • Richardson Eating Disorders Service
    Part of a regional service based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne. There is also a service in Darlington.
  • Regional Department of Psychotherapy
    This department based in Newcastle upon Tyne offers a service to people with eating problems.
  • The EDICT service
    Community-based treatment team for young people under 18.
    General contact number: Newcastle and Gateshead Children and Young People’s Service on 0191 246 6913.

Support for Parents and Carers

  • Maudsley Parents, a volunteer organisation of parents who have helped their children recover from anorexia and bulimia through the use of Family-Based Treatment, also known as the Maudsley approach
  • Beat’s Worried about Someone page and Downloadable Resources page, including their booklet for carers with practical advice on supporting adults or young people with eating distress
  • Newcastle Carers: information line at 0191 275 5060 or text on  0787 410 0043, for adult unpaid carers who are caring for someone living in Newcastle
  • Young Minds Parents’ Helpline: 0808 802 5544, free, confidential online and telephone support to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25
  • Carers Direct: a national information, advice and support service for carers in England
  • Bodywhys: the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, including their free booklet Eating Disorders – a Resource for Parents
  • Help guide.org: USA website with information about helping someone with an eating disorder

Local Support

One way to gain some support is to contact NIWE (see Contact Us). You might also want to talk to your friends, family and GP. Sometimes it is hard to start the conversation but there are various sources of information in the local or national links provided that can help you do this, or you can download our Useful Contacts or Booklist leaflets, or our list of Counselling Services in the North East.

Overeaters Anonymous (OA)

Self-help peer support group for people with any type of eating distress/issues around food (based on the Twelve Step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous). Meets from 7.00-8.30 pm on Thursdays in the Upstairs Meeting Room at George Street Social, George Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7JN. Newcomers always welcome – just come along on the night. Further information available on tel: 07450 460 848 or see www.oagb.org.uk. Meetings also on Mondays in Gateshead and Wednesdays in Middlesbrough. See http://oanorthofengland.org.uk for details or the oa.org website for meetings in other areas of the UK and other countries.

Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous (ABA)

Self-help peer support group for people with anorexia or bulimia (also based on the Twelve Step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous). Meets at St George’s Church Hall, St George’s Close, Jesmond NE2 2TF from 6.30-7.30 pm on Tuesdays and at 45-53 George Street, Newcastle NE4 7JN from 4.00-5.00 on Saturdays. Newcomers always welcome – just come along on the night. Further information available on tel: 07766 914913 or see www.aba12steps.org.

Student Counselling Services

Universities and some colleges have their own counselling service which is free and confidential and is available to all students.

Counselling and Support for Young People

  • Streetwise: 0191 230 5400, for young people aged 11 to 25
  • WEYES: 0191 273 3997, drop-in sessions and counselling
  • YoungMinds: young people’s mental health and wellbeing
  • Childline: 0800 1111

Other Counselling Services

National Support

The following may offer you further information.

Some online resources