Helping a Friend
Eating disorders are complex, potentially life-threatening illnesses that require professional medical attention. Someone who is suffering from an eating disorder cannot get better by herself, even if she has the support of people who love her very much.
After reading the questions and answers below, if you still feel concerned, talk to an adult who can help: a parent, a teacher, a coach, or a religious leader. You may also send us an email or call us toll free at 866-417-3322.
The fact that you are reading this page proves you are a true friend.
I’m worried about my friend. She seems totally preoccupied with food, and she stresses out about her body image all the time. How can I help her?
This isn’t something that teens should try to handle on their own. Talk to her family if you can. Or seek help from an adult you can trust. Don’t delay – even if your friend appears to be at a healthy weight right now, she could still be doing permanent damage to her body.
How do you tell the difference between a strict diet and an eating disorder?
When someone has an eating disorder, she feels terrible about herself every time she eats. Her relationship with food becomes obsessive. If you’re worried about yourself or a friend, try taking our eating disorders evaluation.
How will I stay in touch with my friend if she goes to Mclean? Can we still text back and forth?
Yes - although your friend won't have unlimited access to her cell phone, she can bring it with her. You will definitely be able to talk or text with one another, as long as you have her family's permission.
What will happen to my friend while she’s at McLean?
Your friend will receive therapy to improve her self-esteem and to help her understand the "triggers" that contributed to her eating disorder.
If my friend goes to McLean for treatment, how long will she be away from home?
Depending on her condition, she will probably be away for several weeks.
Will I be allowed to visit my friend at McLean?
Yes - as long as you have her family's permission.
Have other Canadians been treated at McLean?
Do girls make new friends at McLean?
Yes! We help girls and young women between the ages of 13 and 23. Long term friendships often develop.
What if I have more questions?
If you’ve read through this website and still have more questions, please contact us via email or call us toll free at 866-417-3322.