A Global Community of Parents and Those Who Support Parents in Families Affected by Eating Disorders
We are here because we have been there! We are a global community of parents, and those who support parents. We know what it is to have a precious son or daughter develop an eating disorder. We have known the worry, the fear, the frustration. Many of us have seen our loved ones go from terribly unwell to robustly healthy. Some among us are supporting longtime sufferers who have not reached full recovery. And some of us have lost our beloved children to their illnesses, through permanent estrangement or death.
This community knows the hope and the tragedy of these dangerous brain disorders. We also know the heroic power of families: parents and siblings and sufferers and recovered people. We know the power of care giving, of loving support, of skilled clinicians, and of applying the emerging science to improve outcomes.
F.E.A.S.T. started back in 2007, formally, when we became a recognized nonprofit. Our volunteers and our board of directors formed originally from a online community of parents around the world connected by our common experience of loving and supporting sons and daughters who have suffered from eating disorders, and their siblings.
OUR NAME stands for: Families Empowered And Supporting Treatment for Eating Disorders. But you can just call us F.E.A.S.T.
Our MISSION STATEMENT set our course as an organization:
F.E.A.S.T. is an International non-profit organization of and for caregivers of loved ones suffering from eating disorders.
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.
We also crafted Principles that guide our services and outreach:
- Eating disorders are biologically based mental illnesses and fully treatable with a combination of nutritional, medical, and therapeutic supports.
- Parents do not cause eating disorders, and patients do not choose eating disorders.
- Parents and caregivers can be a powerful support for a loved one’s recovery from an eating disorder.
- Blaming and marginalizing parents in the eating disorder treatment process causes harm and suffering.
- Patients should receive evidence-based treatment, when available.
- Families should be supported in seeking the most appropriate treatment in the least restrictive environment possible.
- Food is medicine: all treatment should include urgent and ongoing nutritional rehabilitation.
- When the family is supported, the patient is supported.
- Siblings and parents are affected by a family member’s illness; their needs deserve full attention, too.
- Parents have a unique capacity to help other parents with support, information, and the wisdom of experience.
- F.E.A.S.T. is committed to a coalition-building model of advocacy work that requires mutual respect among caregivers, professionals, and patients.
F.E.A.S.T. is not the only parent organization in the world, but we are the only global community focused on empowering parents as caregivers and advocates and promoting evidence-based treatment. We are inclusive of many kinds of families with a wide range of experiences, but we are strong believers in family inclusion in treatment. We believe in educating and teaching skills to parents because we believe patients deserve that support and thrive when their homes and communities support them. We believe all eating disorder diagnoses are treatable to full health. We believe treatment and treatment providers should be guided by evidence and ongoing training and we celebrate the eating disorder specialists who support our families.
We are so glad you found us.
We look forward to supporting your family and then helping you support others!
Your support and your generous volunteering make it possible to change lives around the world, to influence healthcare policy and access, and to educate the public. We began as the only international eating disorder charity organization of parents supporting parents, and we remain so. Thank you!
Facts About F.E.A.S.T.
F.E.A.S.T. is a nonprofit incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the US. but we operate globally to benefit all families around the world.
Our EIN in the US is 26-4706974.
Our Virginia Incorporation documentation, IRS Determination Letter, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation are all available on request.
For more information on our incorporation please see our Guidestar Listing
By the numbers:
13 Board members from 5 countries (soon to be 6!)
25 active volunteers, and growing
8000+ on our supporter list from 70 countries
Two dozen advisors
Six conferences held in three countries so far