Have you ever clicked on the blue “live chat” button on the right-hand side of the F.E.A.S.T. website? Would you like to know who is answering those live chats?
There is a dedicated group of F.E.A.S.T. parent volunteers who make up the parent support lines team. They take shifts so that there is daily coverage, and they diligently answer all of the people who contact F.E.A.S.T. via live chat, email, and phone. If the live chat feature is offline, and you see the blue help icon, you can leave a message and the volunteer on duty will get back to you shortly.
You may also be interested to know that without the help of kind donors, our live chat/support lines, and all of F.E.A.S.T.’s other services, would not be able to function. We know that the parents in our community depend on us, and we want to be there for each and every one of them. In order for that to happen, we need financial support. We hate to ask, but we have to, so here goes: If you are in the position to offer a contribution to F.E.A.S.T., big or small, please donate here, so we can keep our parent support lines up and running.
Through F.E.A.S.T.’s active parent support lines, caregivers can reach out to experienced peer mentor volunteers, who provide information, hope and empowerment.
The parent support lines receive all sorts of requests from caregivers around the world. For example:
- A voicemail from a social worker in the Adolescent Medicine department of a U.S. Children’s Hospital seeking information on in-person parent support for their families
- A Live Chat request from a UK parent based in China looking for eating disorder services
- A Live Chat request with a parent in Singapore seeking meal support tips
- Emails from parents in NZ, Canada, and the US for support
Though F.E.A.S.T. does not provide treatment or provider recommendations, individuals can use our online moderated peer support forums to ask questions and gain insight and information from other experienced caregivers of those with an eating disorder. Did you know that F.E.A.S.T. has three moderated online support groups for parents? They are:
Around the Dinner Table Forum (www.aroundthedinnertable.org) is free to read without logging in and easy to join anonymously.
In addition, there are two active peer support groups on Facebook, which are member-only.
The volunteers who answer the parent support lines try to offer as much helpful information as possible. For example, they send links for all types of different F.E.A.S.T. educational resources, including:
- F.E.A.S.T. Family Guides (with translations available in Spanish, Chinese & German)
- Meal Support Resources
- F.E.A.S.T. Community Pandemic Support
- F.E.A.S.T. Tips for Adding Calories
F.E.A.S.T.’s mission is to support caregivers by providing information and mutual support, promoting evidence-based treatment, and advocating for research and education to reduce the suffering associated with eating disorders. Our volunteers on the Parent Support Lines Team, and our F.E.A.S.T. volunteers as a whole, are proud to perform this mission each and every day.