Eating Disorder Peer Support Network

“Peer support happens when people who have similar experiences of something difficult come together to support each other.” 

Side by Side Research Consortium (2017) Developing peer support in the community: a toolkit. London: Mind

Eating Difficulties Peer Support Network in Southampton, Hampshire and Portsmouth.

A support network and community for people aged 18+ with Eating Difficulties, and their carers/supporters, who live in Southampton, Hampshire and Portsmouth
  • Do you have a poor relationship with food?
  • Do you struggle to cope day-to-day?
  • Do these difficulties impact your life?
  • Do you want to talk with others who have lived experience, share practical support and resources with peers?

Get in touch to find out more about and get involved in our Peer Support Network in Southampton and surrounding areas.

In-Person Groups

Online Support

Two women walking on a beach with their backs to the camera

1-to-1 Buddying in the Community

Find out more about our network:

What is a Peer Support Network (PSN)?

A peer support network (PSN) is a group of people with similar lived experience, who come together to support each other.

Who can it help?

Our Peer Support Network can help people aged 18+ with Eating Difficulties, such as diagnosed or undiagnosed Eating Disorders or Disordered Eating.

We're here for anyone who thinks they may have an Eating Difficulty, as well as their friends, family and carers.

What are Eating Difficulties?

Eating Difficulties cover a range of issues that people may have around food.

This may include people who struggle with their relationship with food and as a result can develop unhelpful coping behaviours. Alongside this, it's recognised that stress, anxiety and depression can coexist with these behaviours.

Possible signs of Disordered Eating may include:

  • Emotional eating
  • Skipping meals
  • On and off diets or Yo-yo dieting
  • Guilty feelings around food
  • Not eating certain food groups
  • Not seeing food as important
  • Thinking about food a lot
  • Worrying about how you look
  • Not obsessive or affecting health
  • Not affecting those around them

Eating Difficulties can also include diagnosed or undiagnosed Eating Disorders, such as Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

Possible signs of Eating Disorders may include:

  • Obsession about food/types of food
  • Taking control, adopting strict routines, phobias around food
  • Conflict triggered around meals or secrecy around food
  • Finding it hard to switch eating off or on
  • Relationships with those around you are being affected
  • Impacts on physical health i.e. teeth, skin, hair, organs, hormones, blood sugar levels etc.
  • Mental health-anxiety, depression, addictive behaviours
  • Losing enjoyment of food and social life
  • Can be life-threatening

How can the Peer Support Network help me?

It can help by offering practical support in groups, online or 1-2-1 buddying in the community. Peer Supporters share top tips on how to cope, as well as provide tools, resources, information and signposting to professional support.

Most importantly, members connect with others who understand and have similar lived experience.

Get in touch today and join the Southampton network.

Where is the Peer Support Network based?

Our groups and 1-2-1 buddying are based in Southampton, Hampshire and Portsmouth. We also offer online support to our members.

What type of support do you offer?

We can support people in groups, through 1-2-1 buddying service or online, to suit your needs.  

We always aim to provide a safe, welcoming environment where people can feel able to open up and discuss things freely, if they would like to.

How do I join the Peer Support Network?

If you're interested in learning more or would like to join our network, contact our friendly team on or call 023 8063 0219.

Can I help by becoming a Volunteer Peer Supporter?

Yes, absolutely! We're currently looking for people with lived experience of eating difficulties or their carers to join us as Volunteer Peer Supporters.

Find out more about what Volunteer Peer Supporters do and how to join us here.

How much does it cost?

Nothing, it's FREE! There is no financial barrier to joining our Southampton Peer Support Network.

We're always grateful for any donations towards supporting people in the community. You can find out more here.

Who runs the Peer Support Network?

The Peer Support Network is run by Options Wellbeing staff and counsellors, and is supported by a group of volunteers who have experience of eating disorders.

I am a health professional. Can I refer someone to you?

Yes, health professionals can contact us directly or signpost to us, however it is the individual's choice to join the network and participate.

I am a worried family member or friend. Can I refer someone to you?

Yes, you can contact us directly or signpost to us, however we encourage you to speak with the family member or friend you're worried about and encourage them to get in touch with us.

If you're feeling stuck or helpless and want to talk about your situation, please get in touch with us too.

Members login area

Refer to our Peer Support Network

Are you a health professional, a family member, or a friend of someone who has an Eating Difficulty and want to make a referral?