First Steps delivers our specialist eating disorders in student services (EDISS) within our partner schools, colleges and universities across the East Midlands. Providing a dedicated support service available to over c106,316 further education and higher education students and the staff and lecturers working to educate our future scientists, medics, managers and business leaders.

We also deliver outreach into a range of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire schools (state funded and private schools) taking referrals from school nurses and teachers, and professionals working in multiagency teams (MATs). Supporting children as young as 11 years old, our EDISS service provides one-to-one support with meals, peer support, and body image and self esteem workshops. We also offer skills for professionals training for schools to equip staff to spot the signs of young people struggling with disorderded eating and eating disorders.

It’s a unique and specialised approach to eating disorders within the academic environment. Another unique aspect to EDISS is that our members of staff and volunteers have had the personal experience of suffering with an eating disorder whilst studying at university, meaning that our EDISS model not only offers additional support where others may fall short, but has been designed by student alumni with lived experience.

EDISS offers the following services:

  • Peer support
  • Counselling
  • Recovery and Self-Help Groups
  • Online Befriending
  • Drop-in support
  • Volunteering opportunities

EDISS services continue for students and staff outside of term-time, but please note this will be on a limited basis.

Online support will continue as normal, as well as video consultations, and chatbot digital triage service offered to those that return home during the holidays. Self-help groups will also run on a limited basis, in particular, there will not be any groups over the Christmas or Easter periods. Drop-in clinics will be held during term-time only.

EDISS allows for service users to access more than one service at any one time, as well as the choice of changing method of support if for any reason student feels they are not gaining any benefits.

We also offer support to members of staff working in our college and university partners as well as any alumni students up to 3 years following completion of their degree. In the case of supporting members of staff, EDISS will assess each case on an individual basis.

Support for university staff and employees includes training in eating disorders where we are able to offer our CPD accredited Skills for Professionals training course, and on request our experienced staff are delighted to contribute to student university lectures.

To bring EDISS to your school, college or university please submit your enquiry to [email protected] 

To refer to EDISS, please complete our online self-referral form, email [email protected] alternatively book through your campus Student Service