Family Friends, and Caregivers

For people with eating disorders, everyday life can be overwhelming. In order to avoid situations that cause stress or anxiety, including talking about their disease, they have a tendency to isolate themselves and cut off communication with others while simultaneously focusing on something they alone can control: their weight or body size. It is the eating disorder that pushes the individual to isolate, and it will do what it can to maintain this disconnection from family and friends.

That’s why establishing a strong connection and repairing relationships with family and close friends is central to promoting ongoing recovery. These relationships maximize the resources, strengths, and coping strategies of a patient and their family members.

As a family or caregiver, you play an essential role in your loved one’s recovery. To help you better help your loved one, we offer these services:

Parent Peer Mentoring

Parent peer mentors help you and your family address the specific needs, concerns, and challenges of caregiving for a loved one diagnosed with an eating disorder. We can assess family needs and develop interventions that help you and your loved one move ahead together in recovery. This can include meal support and positive family communication techniques. This is a free service and open to all. Contact Michelle Morales, WNYCCCED’s Parent Peer Mentor, by emailing Michelle_Morales@urmc.rochester.edu or calling (585) 275-5693.

Care Management

Jennifer DeSanto, WNYCCCED’s Care Manager, is available to meet with parents and caregivers to assist with linkage to treatment and other resources in the community. She is available by appointment at home, at school, or in the community to provide support and education, as well as raise awareness regarding availability for treatment options for your loved one. This is a free service and open to all. Contact Jennifer by emailing Jennifer_DeSanto@urmc.rochester.edu or calling (585) 276-6102.

Education

Explore the tabs to the (left, right) to learn more about the best strategies to care for and support your loved one. We also provide free caregiver workshops, as well as individual coaching and skills-building sessions designed to support caregiving and recovery.

Family Support Groups

These free, monthly meetings are for parents and other loved ones and are facilitated by WNYCCCED leadership and staff who also work with providers at the Strong Adolescent Medicine Eating Disorder Program and The Healing Connection. No registration is required. For more information, visit our list of Events & Support Groups.

Sibling Support Groups

The free weekly groups provide support to siblings of individuals with eating disorders. The eating disorder tries to disconnect siblings from their brother or sister with an eating disorder. Group sessions include education, support, skills-building, and effective strategies to promote self-care and care for one’s sibling in recovery.

Quarterly Caregiver Workshops

Caregiver Workshops are free and offered several times per year by our Care Manager and Parent Peer Mentor. For more information, visit our list of Events & Support Groups.

Meal Support: Helpful Approaches for Families