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While You Wait

Seeking help for an eating disorder is a powerful step toward recovery. Many say it’s the hardest one. But if the treatment that’s right for you is not available right away, you may find yourself facing another challenge: a waiting period before care begins.

We know how hard this can be. We’re here to support you with the resources you need to navigate this time.

Why is there a waitlist for some programs?

Over the past few years, we have witnessed a dramatic increase not only in eating disorders but also in the severity of symptoms. Consider the following statistics, excerpted from the Eating Disorders Coalition’s letter to Admiral Rachel L. Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • 62% of people in the U.S. with anorexia experienced a worsening of symptoms as the pandemic hit, and nearly one-third of Americans with bulimia and binge eating disorder reported an increase in binge eating episodes and urges, according to an ongoing study from the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (NCEED)
  • NEDA saw a 40% increase in helpline call volume during the first year of the pandemic
  • The National Alliance for Eating Disorders saw a 108% increase in referrals and an 82% increase in support group attendance in 2020 and surpassed those figures in 2021
  • Eating disorder treatment providers have seen a 30–100% increase in demand for care, with call volumes and inquiries for care doubling, increasing acuity of illness, and wait times expanding from 1 week to 6–8 months in some areas of the country

In short, the demand for eating disorder care has never been higher. Organizations like Accanto Health are actively working to expand access to treatment with additional services and programs — but still, the need is great. Consistent with national trends, some of our programs are seeing waitlists due to the dramatic increase in demand.

How long will my wait be?

Wait times vary by treatment program and location. You will know there is an opening in the program you’re waiting for through communication with your Admissions Coordinator. They will contact you after your eating disorder assessment and keep you informed at regular intervals until you are admitted into the program.

What can I do while I wait for treatment?

Stay connected

We encourage you to stay connected with your community-based providers while you wait for treatment to begin. Continue to see your community medical provider and any mental health, nutrition, or psychiatry professionals in the meantime. 

Please consider giving your community providers written consent for them to share information with The Emily Program by completing this Release of Information form. The exchange of information between providers can be especially useful in guiding care decisions. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions about the waitlist, have found care elsewhere, or decided against seeking care with us at this time. We want to hear from you.

Find support

While you wait, you might question whether it is worth it to proceed with treatment or feel disheartened with waiting. This is understandable. We want you to know that you are not alone in these feelings, and there are resources available to you during this time.

Free Community Resources

Virtual Support Groups

The National Alliance for Eating Disorders offers free virtual support groups led by licensed eating disorder clinicians.

  • Pro-Recovery Support Groups:
    • Mondays, 9am PT, 11am CT, 12pm ET
    • Tuesdays, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET
    • Wednesdays, 6pm PT, 8pm CT, 9pm ET
    • Thursdays, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET
    • Fridays, 9am PT, 11am CT, 12pm ET
    • Saturdays, 8am PT, 10am CT, 11am ET
  • Larger Body Individuals Pro-Recovery Support Group: Mondays, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET
  • LGBTQ+ Pro-Recovery Support Group: Wednesdays, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET
  • Friends & Family Support Group: Thursdays, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET
  • Mom2Mom Support Group: Tuesdays, 1pm PT, 3pm CT, 4pm ET
  • Individuals Who Have Lost a Loved One Support Group: every third Monday of the month, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET 

Learn more and register on The Alliance’s website.

ED 101: Understanding Eating Disorders, Treatment, and Recovery

We know how overwhelming an eating disorder diagnosis can be for families and friends. The terminology. The process. The uncertainties. Share an evening with us to learn about eating disorders, our personalized treatment programs, and the path to recovery. Our knowledgeable staff at The Emily Program answer common concerns of families and friends facing eating disorder issues for the first time. You’ll leave with valuable resources and a better understanding of this serious mental health issue. We recommend family and friends who are new to eating disorders attend this session at least once before joining a Friends and Family Session for a better experience in the group.

Virtual Event: Eating Disorders 101, Hosted by Jessica Sydnes, Therapist at our Seattle residential location: 2nd Thursday of the month, 6–7pm PT, 8-9pm CT, 9-10pm ET.

Upcoming dates: July 11, Aug. 8, Sept. 12, Oct. 10   Join us via Zoom.

Friends and Family Sessions

The Emily Program offers free evening Friends and Family Sessions open to the public. No need to register; just drop in. (Please note: This group is intended for family and friends providing support to loved ones with an eating disorder. If you are a client or potential client, please attend our ED 101 or Recovery Night events if you would like to learn more.)

Virtual Event: Friends and Family Session, Hosted by Savanna Norton, LSWAIC, Program Therapist at our Seattle outpatient location: 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, 6–7pm PT, 8-9pm CT, 9-10pm ET. Please note, there will be no Friends & Family session 5/16.

Upcoming dates: Aug. 1, Sept. 5, Oct. 3  Join us via Zoom

And: July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 19, Oct. 17  Join us via Zoom

Share Your Story

There’s Help. There’s Hope! The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues. We want to hear your story. Email us ( and ask how you can become a contributor to our blog or podcast.

Other Community Events

Check back soon for future community events.

Eating Disorder Helplines

ANAD Helpline (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders)

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

  • If you are in crisis, there are options available to help you cope. For confidential support available 24/7 for everyone in the United States, call or text 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Chat services are also available.
  • Visit the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline website for more information or to access chat support.

Please access the nearest Emergency Department or call 911 in case of a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency.

With Me When App

With Me When

Find inspiration, education, and encouragement wherever you go with the With Me When app.

With Me When was designed by eating disorder clinicians as a companion to treatment and recovery. The following features are at your fingertips:

  • Logs to track meals, behaviors, feelings, and goals
  • Tools to develop coping skills
  • Exercises to support mindfulness and relaxation
  • Insights to better understand eating disorders and the recovery process

With the ability to customize logs and more, you can tailor the With Me When experience so that it’s uniquely yours. If you’re an Emily Program client, you can also complete your client paperwork and receive appointment alerts through the app.

Access the web version of With Me When here.

Get help. Find hope.