We’re here for anyone in Australia concerned by eating disorders or body image issues, whether you need support for yourself or someone you care about. All our counsellors are qualified mental health professionals with a background in psychology, social work or counselling. They also have specialist training in eating disorders and body image.
*We are experiencing high volumes of calls, emails and webchats due to the challenges of COVID for many people experiencing eating disorders or body image issues, and their friends and family. This means it is hard at times to get through to our counsellors. Our counsellors want to support you, so if you can’t get through, please leave a voicemail or send an email, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Our Helpline is not a crisis line and we cannot provide medical help.
If you or someone you know is in crisis please call one of the following:
Police & Ambulance: 000
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
You can give us a call on 1800 33 4673 (1800 ED HOPE), send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with us on webchat.
There are times when the Helpline is very busy and a counsellor may not be able to pick up your call immediately.
If you try to contact us via phone and don’t get through, please leave a voicemail and a counsellor will return your call as soon as possible. You are also welcome to send us an email.
For webchat, if you can’t get through please either call and leave a voicemail, or send us an email.
Anyone experiencing a body image issue, disordered eating or an eating disorder, their family and friends along with professionals such as psychologists, GPs, employers and teachers to name a few.
If you have a non-English speaking background, we have a telephone translation and interpreting available.
You can access the service by calling 131 450. Ask to connect with Butterfly Foundation.
If the Helpline is busy when you call, please leave a voicemail and a Helpline counsellor will use an interpreter when they return your call.
The Translation and Interpreting Service website provides lots of information if you’d like to know more.
We can help with support, information, one-off or short-term counselling, guidance, referrals and/or resources.
If you’re not sure exactly what you need, but know you want to reach out about what you’re experiencing or someone else is experiencing in relation to body image, disordered eating or an eating disorder, you are welcome to connect with us. We will guide you on how you might use our service.
If you are a health professional, you can use our service to get information and guidance to support your client presenting with eating or body image concerns. You can also access our database for referrals to other health professionals with eating disorder experience and resources that may be helpful to you and your client.
You will speak with a caring and professionally-trained clinician who is skilled in supporting anyone concerned by eating disorders or body image issues. Our team includes registered and provisional psychologists, counsellors and social workers.
Given the nature of our service and the availability of counsellors, it is not possible to request to speak with a particular counsellor. We aim to give evidence based support, guidance and information, and so all our counsellors have relevant training and an understanding of eating and body image concerns.
You can give us a call, email or connect over webchat for:
Your conversation with us is confidential. However, if at any time we believe there is a significant risk of harm to you or another person, we may need to contact emergency services or child protection agencies and share relevant information to keep you or someone else safe.
If you wish, you can use our service anonymously by not sharing your name or contact details with us. However, we may receive some information automatically via your phone or computer including telephone number and/or IP address. We will only use this information if there is a serious risk of harm to you or another person and we need to notify relevant agencies.
We recognise body image and eating disorders are complex and understand that it may be helpful for you to contact our service more than once for support or guidance about your next steps. Please note that when we have high demand for the service, we may need to limit the frequency or length of your interactions with us.
Our counsellors work as a team and if at any point they think ongoing contact is not helpful for your or not within the scope our Helpline service, they will discuss this with you and give you other options that may be more helpful.
Our team of clinicians (psychologists, provisional psychologists, counsellors and social workers), with specialised training in eating disorders, can give you information, referral options and pathways, resources and general guidance. For instance, you may be a teacher wanting information on how to best support a student, or a therapist wanting more information on eating disorder treatment best practice.
If you call the Helpline phone number, you will first hear an automated message giving you some information about the service and confidentiality. Then you will be transferred though to a counsellor who is experienced in supporting people impacted by an eating disorder.
If you don’t know what to say at first or where to start, that’s OK. It’s normal to feel emotional, confused or a bit nervous. The counsellor is there to help. You can share as much or as little as you like.
If we don’t answer your call, it is because there is no counsellor available at the time but please leave a voicemail message with your name and number and the first available counsellor will call you back.
Most phone conversations can be up to 30 minutes.
When you click on the webchat option, you will be asked to complete a required form before you chat with a counsellor. You may be asked to wait for the next available counsellor. Again, it’s OK if you are feeling emotional or upset, the counsellor is there to support you and to help you get started.
There is a pop up notification which asks if you are in a crisis right now, and if you click “yes” we will direct you towards crisis support.
Most chats can be up to 30 minutes.
When you email the Helpline you will get an automatic reply that will let you know when to expect a reply from a counsellor. You will receive a response between 2 and 4 days. Be sure to check your email spam or junk folder if you have not had a response within this time.