We’re here for anyone in Australia concerned about 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.
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
Call 131 450 to access our telephone interpreting service and ask to be connected with Butterfly’s Helpline.
Seeking professional support for eating or body image concerns can be an important step towards improving your physical and mental health, and often there are a wide range of treatment professionals who need to provide care to ensure a holistic recovery.
*Our counsellors will always attempt to support you with as little wait time as possible. There will be times when we are likely to experience a high volume of contacts, particularly from 8 pm to 11 pm. This means there may be longer wait times to connect with our Butterfly counsellors.
Meanwhile, you can always select the option to hold your place in the queue for a call-back service or explore some of our helpful online resources while you wait.
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 will experience a high demand and you may expect a longer wait time.
If you try to contact us via phone and don’t wish to wait for the next available counsellor, you have the option to select the call back service offered during hold. This will keep your place in the queue and a counsellor will return your call as soon as possible. Alternatively, stay on hold and we will get to you when a counsellor becomes available. Please know that Helpline’s opening hours are from 8am to 12 midnight (AEST/AEDT). If you have requested a call back towards the end of our operating hours and we have not been able to return your call, we will try to get back to you as soon as practicable at the start of next day at 8am (AEST/ADET). You are also welcome to send us an email too if you don’t wish to wait and a counsellor will respond back to you by email.
For webchat, a counsellor will try their best to get to you within 15 mins and you can then start talking to them online once they initiate the chat with you. If webchat is experiencing a high demand and you can’t get through, please feel free to call 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 are from a non-English speaking background, we have a telephone translation and interpreting available.
You can access the service by calling 131 450. Please ask to be connected with Butterfly Foundation.
If the Helpline is busy when you call us, please feel free to use the call back option and a Butterfly counsellor will return your call as soon as they become available. A Butterfly counsellor can also assist in organising an interpreter for you when they call you back.
The Translation and Interpreting Service website provides lots of information if you would 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.
You might also like to apply to be included on our Referral Database of vetted health care professionals working with people with eating disorders and body image issues.
Please complete the form on our ‘Feedback’ page to send us your feedback, compliments or complaints.
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 one of our trained counsellors who is experienced in supporting people impacted by an eating disorder or body image concerns.
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 our counsellors are supporting other people who have also reached out to Helpline. Our counsellors are here to support you so please stay on hold or you can select the call back option by following the prompts. You will be asked to enter a phone number for our counsellors to call you back on. Once you have done so, you can end the call and this will keep your position in the queue. The next available counsellor will then call you back on the number you have provided when it is up to your position in the queue.
Please know that most phone conversations can be up to 30 minutes.