Anorexia Bulimia Care
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What's with the helplines ?!!

Hi everyone....I am saying everyone because I can't grasp this pm lark and individual conversations. Have any of you had the same problems getting through to the ABC and Beat helplines. I have been trying for the last week,maybe more to get through to one of them at least !!? Closed,staff training- whoa today I got through to both and both were busy the three times I tried. I don't know how long I was on hold each time I called Beat.At least ABC cuts you off and tells you to call later in order to maintain confidentiality. It takes so much each time,to pick up the phone and dial the number. So despondent now I am thinking of giving up. Its such an anxiety provoking task I don't think I can keep going through it each time.....any of you have any suggestions please. I hope everyone is doing well in their recovery or proud of making the first steps to recovery for those who are new here xx

5 Replies

Hi jfk71,

I don't know what to suggest. When we tried BEAT we also had difficulty getting through. This was 3 years ago and they were busy then, so things probably haven't got any better. You could try first thing in the morning perhaps or are any general helplines easier to get through on e.g. MIND?

Hope you have some success,


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Things hit crisis on Friday. I spoke to someone eventually on ABC but felt so misunderstood and a fraud. I actually felt guilty for thinking what I thought and for being in such a state with food and my life. I was so confused and so desperate to be understood but o don't think I could relay my thoughts and fears all that well. Well anyway in two months my bmi has gone from 32/to 24. My blood sugars were 3.6. I get my bloods done tomorrow. I have tried to eat a little--- steamed spiralissed carrot and half ounce weight piece of fish...I ended up making myself sick. I am restricting fluids and am being monitored on fluid intake also. I am in such a state but am still very reluctant to give up this state and scared... Very scared.. By the way I am still trying to actually connect a call through to beat helpline after Two weeks of trying. Very Busy !! Xx


Hi jfk71, I'm sorry the helplines are so busy. It sounds like you could do with a bit more face to face help. Have you thought of trying a local counsellor/psychotherapist to talk over your struggles and fears? Usually something will have triggered your disordered eating. For each person it is different - sometimes an unkind comment about appearance, or maybe feeling out of control with pressures of life. Talking about things is essential to getting better. It isn't about food alone, it's probably many other worries you've bottled up. I think the websites of BEAT and ABC have links to finding registered therapists. Why not give it a go, or get your GP to refer you? All the best, I hope you find the support you need. xx


ABC are just extremely busy, probable because across the UK there are very few helplines at all for Eating Disorders, and Beat’s helplines are open only Monday to Wednesday: 1pm-4pm

This puts additional pressure on our 9-5 phone and email helpline.

If people need us urgently and find us engaged we suggest they email us, and can request a booked call from us. Having said this, we do have some quiet moments during the day, so perhaps it’s just bad luck some times.

Please look out for our new appeal video and E Newsletter coming today (or maybe tomorrow) so that we can keep our helplines running, otherwise we might have to consider scaling them down, something I do not want to do.

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Sorry its just so frustrating...when it takes so much guts to pick up the phone and actually speak to someone and admit you need help. For over a week beat was constant hold call for up to fifteen .minutes at a time...ABC was on staff training for three days (/I think...may be two but can't remember) and then constantly engaged..I know the reality are endowed with people trying to call and in desperate need..the equal reality is when we need help and are desperate we sometimes find it hard to grasp we aren't the only one in that very grave situation. I hold my hands up...little tolerance, short fused and desperate ...and apologetic for my lack of said traits


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