The Beat Network: Self Help and Support Groups
The Beat Network is a UK-wide network of over 400 volunteer Group Facilitators and Support Volunteers who offer support and information to people affected by eating disorders, by setting up and running Self Help and Support Groups.
Beat has a range of Self Help and Support Groups catering for the differing needs of people affected by eating disorders. There are groups open to:
- people with all types of eating disorders
- people with anorexia or bulimia only
- people with compulsive overeating issues
- carers, families and friends of people with eating disorders
All current Beat groups are open groups. This means they are open to anyone within the 'client group' they specify. Medical referral to a Beat group is not necessary and Beat groups do not offer treatment, counselling or therapy.
To find your nearest UK based Self Help and Support Group, use HelpFinder Beat's online directory of eating disorders support, or call our Helpline on 0845 634 1414.
Beat have successfully secured a grant from the Department of Health which is being utilised to establish a network of Support Groups for individuals who binge eat, compulsively overeat, have emotional eating or obesity issues. The Emotional Overeating Support Groups will be established in various locations across East Anglia, East Midlands and West Midlands.
What can I expect from a Beat Group?
The Beat Network Groups offer help to people with eating distress in various stages of their illness and recovery, and in many different ways. We also offer support for carers and families of individuals with an eating disorder. Attending a group can help you if you are not yet in treatment and want some extra help and support to take a first step. It is an ideal aid if you are already in treatment and need some additional support in a safe environment to share your experiences. It can also help you if you have been in recovery for some time, but you still feel like you may need some support occasionally.
The groups can provide you with an opportunity to meet other people who may be in a similar situation to yourself, and to share experiences or just to listen to others.
Beat groups are self help and support groups where attendees support each other by sharing experiences, thoughts, successes and problems. Beat groups do not offer treatment, counselling or therapy.
Each group is facilitated by at least two Beat registered Group Facilitators who ensure that:
- a supportive, comfortable environment is fostered
- everyone is offered the opportunity to speak
- principles of confidentiality, neutrality and equal opportunities are upheld
- information about other sources of help is available
Together, the facilitators and the attendees of each meeting decide its direction and the way it operates; the group effectively belongs to its members.
Individuals may attend a Group as seldom or as often as they wish. Some people attend regularly while others may only go along once every couple of months.
We are temporarily unable to undertake any further development of volunteer-led Self Help and Support Groups at the moment. Beat is working hard to provide more support as soon as possible.
If you are a service provider who is interested in developing a group, please contact Nina Dufeu, Head of Services, email firstname.lastname@example.org