Menu Close
MENU Close

Resources

Helping your friend

You can support your friends to Embrace their bodies in so many ways!

  • ptn03
    Encourage your friend to be a friend to themselves too
Avoid critical self-talk, model self compassion and remind them of all of the things they can be proud of.
  • ptn03
    Giving non-appearance-related compliments
Comment on the way they make you feel, the things they work hard at, their achievements, or their vibe, glow, and energy.
  • ptn03
    Check in with them in terms of how they are feeling, and listening when they talk
Having someone you can confide in is so important.
  • ptn03
    Move your bodies together
Engage in some joyful movement with your friend. Try something new, and move because it feels good, not because you ‘should’!
  • ptn03
    Fuel your body
Friends can help each other to block out all of the damaging messages that are out there about food. You can be a force for change in your peer group and make it cool to fuel your bodies at school
  • ptn03
    Focus on functionality
If you are going to talk about your bodies, focus on talking about all of the amazing things your body can do.
  • ptn03
    Notice if they need more help
If something seems off, say something.

Resources

If you think that your friend, or someone you know might be experiencing body image or eating concerns, there is a lot you can do to help, but it’s not all up to you, and you definitely don’t need to ‘solve’ any problems here.

Your main role as a friend is to notice some of the changes in their mood, what they say, and what they do in relation to food and physical activity. You can’t tell if someone has a problem by looking at them, the only way to know is to ask. You can use the resources below to help you.

Butterfly Foundation

Butterfly Foundation information about helping a friend with an eating disorder.

Mental Health First Aid Australia

Mental Health
First Aid Guidelines
for Eating Disorders.

Reach Out
Australia

Australia’s most accessed online mental health service for young people and their parents

NEDA
USA

NEDA (USA) –
How to Help a
Loved one.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc congue turpis sed vulputate fermentum. Curabitur tristique tempus blandit. Pellentesque tincidunt, sapien a convallis consequat, nisl ante consequat ligula, et pharetra mauris lacus sed magna. Donec cursus posuere orci quis consequat. Nam euismod tortor id lectus vehicula, eu dignissim eros posuere.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc congue turpis sed vulputate fermentum. Curabitur tristique tempus blandit. Pellentesque tincidunt, sapien a convallis consequat, nisl ante consequat ligula, et pharetra mauris lacus sed magna. Donec cursus posuere orci quis consequat. Nam euismod tortor id lectus vehicula, eu dignissim eros posuere.

Downloadable Content

Move Your Body Worksheet

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

Fact
Sheet

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

Downloadable
tips

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

Frequently Asked Questions

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc congue turpis sed vulputate fermentum. Curabitur tristique tempus blandit. Pellentesque tincidunt, sapien a convallis consequat, nisl ante consequat ligula, et pharetra mauris lacus sed magna. Donec cursus posuere orci quis consequat. 

The Short Answer is NO. For a long time, there has been a misconception that we should make people, or make ourselves feel bad about our weight in order to motivate us to engage in health behaviour. The science is showing that this isn’t working. People think that if we appreciate our bodies, accept, and trust them, we would all stop eating well and exercising, and gain a lot of weight. However, the science is now showing that when we appreciate our bodies, we look after them more- by eating fruit and vegetables, and moving our bodies. Research has shown that people with more positive body image even wear sunscreen and engage in preventative cancer screening more often. It’s time we realised that shame doesn’t help people ‘be healthy’, it means that they avoid health care, experience poor quality of life, and gain weight over time, not lose it.

Feeling shame around our bodies hasn’t helped us to be healthy. It doesn’t motivate positive behaviour change. If we want people to be healthy, we need to focus on encouraging and facilitating health behaviours- not create shame around weight.

If you are worried, we suggest you talk to someone. The Butterfly Foundation Help Hub offers a range of advice and articles, and if you are in Australia, you can call the hotline on 1800 33 4673, email the Helpline, or use KIT to chat on the website. This service is available to everyone- not matter what stage you are at, and whether you are calling for yourself, to help a friend, or a young person you care for. The experienced professionals on the other end of the phone will ask you questions, and direct you through to resources that can help you.

There is no right way to seek help- We strongly recommend that you open up to anyone you feel comfortable with – whether that is a friend, sibling, parent, carer, teacher, or other trusted adult. Talking to someone is better than talking to no one!

Our aim is to provide information that supports people to Embrace their bodies, and encourage you to take action, but we do not provide individual help. If you would like additional support, we suggest that you call the Butterfly Foundation helpline on 1800 33 4673, email the Helpline, or use webchat.

You can’t tell how someone feels about their body, or whether someone has an eating disorder, by looking at them. However there are lots of warning signs that you can look out for in terms of the things that people are saying or what they are doing that might indicate that there is an issue that would benefit from support.  The Mental Health First Aid Guidelines for Eating Disorders outline these warning signs in detail.

Body image concerns and eating disorders are serious psychological illnesses- people are not having these thoughts and feelings by choice, or to get attention, and they can’t just snap out of it. One of the best things that can happen, particularly early on in the piece, is for people to share their thoughts and concerns, and to open up about their behaviours. It is worth you asking questions, and talking to them. The Mental Health First Aid Guidelines for Eating Disorders provide detailed guidance on how to approach someone about their body image concerns or eating disorder. If you are in Australia, you can also call the Butterfly Foundation helpline on 1800 33 4673, email the Helpline, or use webchat to seek support in helping a friend or someone you know.

Embrace Kids will be released in Australian cinemas on September 1st. Community screenings will be available from mid-November. We want every single person in Australia to be able to see this film! To find out more about hosting a community screening, click here.

Community Screenings were such a powerful way for the Embrace (2016) film and message to spread around the world, and we would love to see the same thing happen with Embrace Kids! We are building a team of screening hosts across Australia who will host a screening at their workplace, in their community organisation, or hold a fundraising event at a cinema. For more information and to add your details to submit an expression of interest, click here.

The Embrace Kids film was designed to meet the needs of children and young people aged 9-14 years. The film is rated G for a general audience. All kids develop at different rates, and you know your young people best, but these ages are provided as a guide. The film is aimed at young people who have become aware that there are certain pressures on them to look a certain way, but have not developed issues or concerns. The Embrace Kids film might support young people who have existing issues or concerns, but is not designed to treat any psychological condition. There is some depiction of social media images in the film that younger viewers might not have seen. This was kept to a minimum, and provided alongside media literacy education as indicated by the research in this area. 

We cannot answer individual health or medical questions.  If you require medical help and support please visit the Professional Help and Support page or contact your GP or health care provider.

Unfortunately, the Embrace Hub team are not available for interviews for high school projects, but you are welcome to use our website and reference it for research purposes. All references to research reported in blog articles have references embedded to support your learning in this area.

Embrace Kids is a new book from powerhouse body image activist, Taryn Brumfitt, and Body Image Expert, Dr Zali Yager. Embrace Kids is in stores from August 2, 2022, and should be available wherever you buy good books- in Big W, or online at Booktopia. If you want to do your bit in creating change, you are welcome to ask or suggest that your local independent bookstore stocks Embrace Kids!

Taryn and Zali recorded an audiobook version of Embrace Kids available on Audible, Apple Books, Kobo, Google, as well as audiobooks.com.

Libraries should have access through Bolinda, Overdrive and Findaway. If your library doesn’t have a copy, you can suggest that they order one!

We would love for the Embrace Kids film and book to be available in every language, in every country, but it’s not up to us! We are trying to get this out far and wide, but it’s in the hands of the distributors and publishers. 

The audiobook will be available internationally, in English through the audiobook version of Embrace Kids available on Audible, Apple Books, Kobo, Google, as well as audiobooks.com.

We would love for the Embrace Kids film and book to be available in every language, in every country, but it’s not up to us! We are trying to get this out far and wide, but it’s in the hands of the distributors and publishers.

The Embrace Hub is a beautiful coming together of many powerful voices and experiences in this space. If you would like to write for the Embrace Hub, please see our submission guidelines here for more details on how you can become an Embrace Hub contributor.

We welcome contributions from philanthropic donors to support the ongoing development of more free resources, and to get these out to schools and communities around Australia. You can learn more about becoming a Founder’s Circle Member here.

We also value the support from our corporate partners, and look forward to having a conversation about how we can align our mission to create epic impact. For more, see here.

We would love the Embrace Hub to be a central portal for all resources that can help every single human Embrace their bodies. In order to ensure that all of the resources on the Embrace Hub are safe and effective for audiences, we do have criteria for the courses, programs, and businesses that we link to. Everything we do is informed by scientific evidence, and reviewed by our panel of body image experts- the researchers and clinicians at the Body Confident Collective. If you have a resource that is evidence-informed, you are welcome to write a blog piece for the Embrace Hub that links to this resource. See the  submission guidelines here to learn more about writing for us.

Scroll to Top

Adults, take the pledge

KIDS, TAKE THE PLEDGE

Take The Pledge and Join our Community