Subscribe Charity Number: SCO45001


How can you help? 

Out with the immediate family, teachers or other educational professionals may be the first to notice signs of someone with an eating disorder. 

It is imperative in the first instance to check the local policy on workplace disclosure/guideline on expressing concern directly to a student. This is particularly important when working with those under the age of 18. Some schools may have a list of those pupils with known mental health problems that are already being addressed and so no further action is necessary.

If the workplace policy/procedure allows for the professional to express concern directly, there is a useful guide to how to do so below. It has been developed by Professor Janet Treasure ( an eminent Psychiatrist in the field of Eating Disorders ) and her team at Kings College London. 

Advice from King's College London

Try to create openings for the individual to talk freely.

For example, you could say:

  • ‘I can’t help noticing that things are quite difficult for you at the moment, would you like to talk about or is there anything I can do?’...
  • ‘Is everything ok at school, work, university, at the moment?’...
  • ’You seem slightly anxious, low, distracted.’

Build trust and pass no judgement.

Remember, challenges and concerns will be met by:

  • ‘nothing’s wrong’;
  • ‘I’m fine, everything’s okay thanks’;
  • ‘I just haven’t really felt like eating much recently but it will pass, don’t worry.’

Don’t give up and continue challenging, voicing your concerns and watching.

  • Let the individual know that you know they have a problem.
  • Breaking the secrecy of the illness removes some of its power.

Make a list of signs that you have observed that make you think your child or friend has an eating disorder (see signs of an eating disorder page).

  • Talk to them about your worries, confusion and uncertainties.
  • Give them the opportunity to express their point of view.
  • Ask them to come to the GP with you.
  • Teachers and lecturers have a role to play too and should take any initial suspicions they have seriously.

Raise awareness in meetings and ask other staff to watch for characteristic behaviours. These include:

  • Isolation
  • Absence from lunch
  • A faultless academic record and thorough, meticulous written work
  • A keenness for physical education and calorie consuming sport
  • Enthusiasm for academic work related to food like home economics
  • A nutrition degree or aspirations to be a dietician.

Show concerns but focus chats away from food issues. Look at the wider picture: friends, family life, bullying, academic work.

Seek help 

  • Contact the institution or school counsellor or head of pastoral care. Talk to beat for advice and encourage the individual to do the same.
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists website includes readable and well-researched information about eating disorders for teachers, as well as for parents and young people.

If the situation continues to deteriorate, tell the individual of your great concern and gain consent to involve their parents. At home too, they may have been aware of difficulties. Occasionally, confidentiality may have to be breached regardless of an individual student’s wishes.

This material is bound by copyright laws pertaining to the Kings College London website and should not be reproduced, altered or shared without permissions. If you wish to use for personal use please click to on the source link. Source  Copyright permissions granted.

Subscribe to our email list

Sign up to our email list to stay up to date with the latest news from SEDIG

Private Policy

Please note that we are not a Crisis service and our website is designed to offer information. If you or a loved one are seriously ill or concerned and need immediate medical help, please contact your GP or NHS 111 . Our e-mail is not manned daily. 

The Scottish Eating Disorder Interest Group (SEDIG ("We")) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

This policy sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.

By visiting you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy.

For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act), the data controller is SEDIG, , MCN for Eating Disorders North Scotland.

Information we may collect from you

We may collect and process the following data about you:

- Information you give us. You may give us information about you by filling in forms on our website ( or by corresponding by phone, email or otherwise. This includes information you provide when you register for online services, become a SEDIG Member, sign up for our email newsletter, register for an event, enquire about volunteering opportunities, enquire about fundraising opportunities; make a donation and when you report a problem with our site. The information you give us may include your name, address, email address, telephone number, date of birth and financial information e.g. credit card details.

- With regard to each of your website visits to our site we may automatically collect the following information: technical information, including the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet, your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform; information about your visit, including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from our site (including date and time); products you viewed or searched for; page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the page and any phone number used to call us

Information we may receive from other sources

We work closely with third parties (including, for example, sub-contractors in technical, payment and delivery services) and may receive information about you from them.


Cookies are used on this website. A cookie is a text file sent by a web server to a web browser and stored in the browser. The file is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page form the server. This enables the web server to identify and track the web browser.

We may send a cookie which may be stored by your browser on your computer’s hard drive. The information we obtain from the cookie could be used to improve the website’s usability and for marketing purposes. We may also use that information to recognise your computer when you visit our website, and to personalise our website for you.

Browsers usually will allow you to refuse cookies but this could have a negative impact on the usability of many websites. to store information such as session identifiers and your User ID to allow us to identify whether You have previously visited the site and if You are a registered user of the site or not.

How we use this information

We use information held about you in the following ways:

Information you give to us

We will use this information:

Information we collect about you

We will use this information:

Information we receive from other sources

We may combine this information with information you give to us and information we collect about you. We may use this information and the combined information for the purposes set out above (depending on the types of information we receive).

Disclosure of your information

We may share your personal information with any member of our group, which means our subsidiaries, our ultimate holding company and its subsidiaries, as defined in section 1159 of the UK Companies Act 2006. We may share your information with selected third parties including:

We may also disclose your personal information to third parties if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation; or to protect the rights, property, or safety of SEDIG, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

Where we store your personal data

The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area ("EEA"). It may also be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff maybe engaged in, among other things, the processing of your payment details and the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing or processing. SEDIG will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

SEDIG does not hold customers’ financial information and purchases or bookings made will be monitored under paypals own private policy. SEDIG will receive conformation of a purchase from paypal. We will only receive details of payment being made and total amounts. We do not store or receive other financial information

Security of your personal data

We will take reasonable precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information. Of course, data transmission over the internet is inherently insecure, and we cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.

We will store all the personal information you provide on our secure servers. All electronic transactions you make to or receive from us will be encrypted

You can request us not to use any of your personal details; you will usually ask in advance whether you agree to our use of your personal data. If not you can instruct us not to use your personal data by emailing us at

These terms and conditions, together with our privacy policy constitute the entire agreement between you and us in relation to your use of our website, and supersede all previous agreements in respect of your use of this website

Policy amendments

We may occasionally update this privacy policy by posting a new version on our website. It is in your interest to check this page regularly to ensure you are comfortable with any changes made.

Third party websites

Our website contains links to other websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites