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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Eating Disorders & Addictions, Mental Health

Mission: F.E.A.S.T. is an international organization of and for parents and caregivers to help loved ones recover from eating disorders by providing information and mutual support, promoting evidence-based treatment, and advocating for research and education to reduce the suffering associated with eating disorders.

Results: Informational website with downloadable resources | 24/7 International Caregiver Support Forum | Over 3,000 members from more than 40 countries | 100+ new forum members per month | Annual Conferences bringing caregivers and experts together | 2012 US Congressional Briefing with the Eating Disorders Coalition | Advocacy Task Forces Working in four countries

Target demographics: caregivers of children with eating disorders

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 1000 new forum members looking for support to help their children overcome an eating disorder.

Geographic areas served: three continents

Programs: caregiver peer mentoring, 24/7 online support forum, annual conferences, community educational materials and resources for support groups. We may be registered in the US, but our membership, Board of Directors, and Clinical Advisory Panel are international.

Community Stories

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Before my daughter even had her appointment to receive her Eating Disorder diagnosis, the doctor directed us to get online with FEAST to start educating ourselves about the nature of this problem and to connect with other caregivers who could support us. It's been a tough road, but my daugher is now healthy and happy! We couldn't have done it without the amazing, committed, brilliant, kind and caring people who organize FEAST, and without the parents who share their experiences and knowledge on the online forum. This non-profit is soley member supported. No one is paid, and all money is spent to educate and support it's members and the world-wide community of people who are in need. The board is committed to promoting evidence-based practices and the other parents are passionate about helping each other. I could not have refed my daughter and returned her to her normal weight and sanity without the information that FEAST shared with me and without the parents who were online at all hours of the day and night to answer my panicked questions and to guide me with suggestons and resources. FEAST is a life-saver…I cannot say enough good things about this amazing organization!

1 Alec R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FEAST is a godsend for anyone who has a child or loved one suffering from an eating disorder. Their Around the Dinner Table forum provides a moderated venue to get support and advice from other parents and caregivers 24/7. As research changes our general knowledge about eating disorders, FEAST has partnered with a top-notch advisory team to create pamphlets that explain the neurobiology of eating disorders, how to choose treatment providers, and how families can come to terms to help their child. FEAST believes parents are a key component of the treatment team and provides resources to make us more effective team members.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

In my humble opinion, FEAST hosts the single best website for obtaining the most accurate and up-to-date information on eating disorder research, education and treatment. FEAST has helped educate thousands of care providers, sufferers, practitioners regarding eating disorders. There is so much misinformation out there and it is very refreshing to finally have a place where you can get accurate information, which has saved countless lives. Also, being put in touch with other families and caregivers going through what you are going through is a huge lifesaver and makes you feel not so alone in what is usually a very isolating disease. FEAST empowers families and caregivers to speak up on their loved ones' behalf and ensure they are getting the most-up-to-date treatment rather than relying on old outdated and antiquated treatment. FEAST provides so many services that it is difficult to name them all here, but it is an invaluable resource and I am grateful every day that it exists.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This site is absolutely amazing. My daughter was diagnosed with RAN 2 years ago and whilst I would not consider myself to be a "poster", I have used the advice, taken encouragement and hope from the carers and moderators who do a fantastic job - they fully understand what you are going through, do not judge and give you tools, personal experiences and a fuller understanding of this dreadful illness. It has helped me to be a better support to my daughter who is now well on the way to a full recovery and for that I will be forever grateful. Thanks to all the wonderful people who are involved.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When our daughter was diagnosed, I thought I knew what most of us think we know about anorexia nervosa. Well, when I saw how badly the advice and treatment we were first getting, was turning out, I looked for better information. I found it at FEAST. People had links to resources, they had explanations that made sense of what we were going through. Most of all, they had been there themselves. There is nothing like the peer support provided by FEAST, anywhere else that I know of.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

F.E.A.S.T offers such vital support for families and sufferer's alike. It helps to create a collective forum of support and holistic sense of healing for so many people. Non-profit organisations like this truly are indispensable in the foundations of recovery. I have great admiration for those that keep such charities alive.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a psychologist who treats children, adolescents, and young adults with eating disorders. I always refer the parents of my ED patients to FEAST the very first time I meet them. FEAST empowers, informs, and connects parents to a priceless resource: each other. FEAST saves lives.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

F.E.A.S.T. fills a void that doesn't exist anywhere else. The information on the website and from other parents has taught me more about how to care for my child with anorexia than any profressional ever could. I am so grateful that it exists.

3 Maria103

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I found F.E.A.S.T. late one night and I knew that even though the diagnosis was tough, this group would be able to help. The Forum helped educate our family so we could not react to everything but work on problems and get darn near expert parent advice. Laura Collins is a champion and so are the moderators and everyone who makes F.E.A.S.T. such an amazing place.

1 Lauren83

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As an American Parent with a child who suffered from Anorexia Nervosa at age 13, I can tell you we would not have achieved the health and success we now enjoy without this organization! I thank my lucky stars daily for F.E.A.S.T. There is no better resource out there, in the entire world.

1 Sam_25

Client Served

Rating: 5

There won't be enough space to write about the support that FEAST gives. Imagine being worried that your child may die but not know who you can talk to about it. Imagine the stigma of mental illness, and how it consumes every minute of every day. FEAST gives you access to a 24 hour a day service, with people coming together from around the world to offer support and a listening ear. We are still on our FEAST journey, but in a more positive place - thanks to the support, information and friends I have made through this amazing organisation. FEAST should be the website that all GPS give to a worried parent on their first visit, as the advice and support you would receive is priceless.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Imagine your child was diagnosed with cancer or a heart defect and none of the professionals you met for many months while awaiting referral to a specialist seemed to know what to do... this is a nightmare faced by many parents with a life-threatening eating disorder, and this site is a spectacular resource with up-to-date, evidence-based information and superb peer support. Even for those receiving excellent clinical care, it provides a depth of empathy and practical advice often not available elsewhere. I often refer parents to this site and am delighted to have it available for the wonderful parents I see at the hospital who are trying to find the best ways to help their ill child.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a parent of a child diagnosed with anorexia this site has been a life saver!

2 evamusby

Client Served

Rating: 5

Here's a story of what FEAST does for the world. A 9 year old girl and her brother were on the verge of being placed into care, separated from dedicated, exemplary parents. Psychiatrists, paediatricians, psychologists and Social Services could not recognise that the starving child had an eating disorder and the mother was under extreme suspicion. The mother, who thanks to FEAST was better informed than any of the officials, was losing a 2-year battle to be believed. Meanwhile, the little girl was so weak she had to be carried when the family was out and about, and she suffered horrific nightmares.

FEAST parents had no trouble recognising the signs of an eating disorder in a young child. They gave the parents information and support, and finally the mother was believed, the Social Services case dismissed, and the little girl got treatment.

As a mum who wishes she had found FEAST much earlier, I have referred parents, clinicians and teachers to FEAST and to its ever-so-supportive forum Around The Dinner Table. I have benefited from so much wisdom and experience from other parents there. It is a blessing that wherever you are in the world, people have access to this treasure trove.

2 Chris159

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

FEAST plays a vital role in the eating disorders community. One of the first ways I support parents who have a child I am treating for an eating disorder is refer them to FEAST. The advise there is invaluable and the service helps parents feel less alone in their strangle. Invaluable.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Around the Dinner Table Forum of FEAST helped save my daughter's life. She was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa in 2011 and since we were living in rural Tennessee, there was no effective treatment available locally. Thanks to the advice and support I received on the FEAST site, I learned to navigate the Anorexia treatment world. FEAST taught me just about everything I know about Anorexia and what treatment is most effective. I learned from other parents' experience and from the excellent articles and books that were recommended. I am extremely grateful. FEAST is a top-notch nonprofit and I cannot praise them enough.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The support and evidence-based information that I received (for free) from http://feast-ed.org has been by far the most helpful, profound and life-changing that I have ever experienced from any organization. My daughter had been ill with various eating disorders since age 11 when I discovered F.E.A.S.T. when she was 21. I had almost given up hope when an internet search for a forum for parents of those with EDs turned up the Around the Dinner Table forum and the F.E.A.S.T. website. From that very day I was able to read about the most up-to-date studies and correct info about EDs, and I started tapping the vast experience of the dedicated parents who frequented the forum. A person with an ED suffers every minute of every day, and often even the most knowledgeable professionals aren't able to help parents with the enormous difficulties of caring for their child with an ED. But the parents on the forum knew, and the example of those who had found effective treatment and were helping to bring their children to health were an inspiration to me.

Even though my daughter lives out of our home, I was able to find ways to get her into good treatment, and I am happy to say that, 6 years later, she is living a much healthier and happier life, dealing well with her EDs and her several serious comorbid psychological disorders. I served as a volunteer forum moderator and attended two of the F.E.A.S.T. international conferences and have been enriched in so many ways because of this organization. Thanks F.E.A.S.T. for giving me the tools that I needed to be able to find proper help for my long-suffering daughter! I shudder to think where our family would be without you. I give F.E.A.S.T. the highest recommendation possible and then some, because they help not only to save lives, but they help bring previously very sick people to very high quality of life.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The ATDT forum is simply the best outlet I have found for honest and compassionate advice on dealing with the myriad of challenges that caregivers face supporting their ED children. Whether posting on specific issues or challenges or just reading others stories has inspired me to keep going when circumstances have been bleak. ED is such a heartbreaking illness in so many ways and cuts such a broad path of destruction across families - it is made more difficult by the lack of understanding in our medical community and community at large. Often, caregivers are left to their own devices to sort through ED issues, manage the caregiving, other siblings, medical staff, insurance and so on. ATDT has been the best forum I have found to get real feedback from those who have been through what I am going through - that is invaluable.

Dad of Daughter with Anorexia

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a board member and volunteer. Our family also has directly benefited from F.E.A.S.T.'s services. F.E.A.S.T. is a unique organization- run completely by parent volunteers, providing information and support for families whose children have eating disorders internationally. Families can find information on the most up-to-date treatments, access 24 hour support from other families, find answers to their questions and obtain help in advocating for their child. F.E.A.S.T. has been an invaluable source of support for our family, literally helping to save our daughter's life. I hate to think of how things would have turned out for our family had we not had access to F.E.A.S.T.'s services.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The support and information I found on this site helped save my daughter's life.
My daughter has anorexia nervosa, and while we were lucky enough to find knowledgable professional support in our area, the main treatment for this illness is still the simplest and the most difficult: to eat. No professional ever gave me how a clue how to effectively help my daughter to do that; I learned from the other parents and caregivers on the ATDT forum.
The site offers comprehensive, up-to-date information on eating disorders and their treatment. The member forum is well-run, civil, hopeful, realistic, and includes contributors from all over the world.
My daughter is now physically healthy and making great progress towards mental health.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was blessed to find F.E.A.S.T shortly after my 15 year old daughter was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa just over 1 year ago. The Around the Dinner table forum has bought me hope, advice and comfort when my family most needed it. F.E.A.S.T provided evidence based, up to date advise on treatment for my daughters illness and empowered me to support her to begin her road to recovery. Following the advice of those who have gone through helping a loved one fight this terrible condition, my daughter is now healthy and happy, getting back on with her life and moving forward with hope for the future. Without the clear guide that enabled our family to understand our daughters illness from the beginning, along with the early intervention that was made clear was required, I truly believe my daughter would not have been as far down the road to recovery that she is today. In an underfunded and inadequately understood area of the health care industry, I believe F.E.A.S.T has saved thousands of lives, my daughters included.