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What is FREED?

FREED stands for First Episode Rapid Early Intervention for Eating Disorders. It is a treatment model designed to deliver early intervention for 16-25 year olds who have had an eating disorder for three years or less. The intervention focuses upon the challenges young people face during these yeats of the life and within the early stages of an eating disorder.

What does the FREED approach involve?

FREED supports young people aged 16-25 to receive specialised evidence-based treatment quickly. The goal is for treatment to start within 4 weeks of a referral to an eating disorder service, as research suggests that the earlier someone receives treatment the easier it is for them to achieve full recovery.


FREED focuses on the specific needs of young people in the early stages of an eating disorder. It emphasises early, pro-active engagement; early symptom change; family involvement; attention to the effects of eating disorders on the brain; attention to social media use; and attention to transitions (out of school, to university, into work) and ‘emerging adulthood’. FREED complements, rather than replaces, existing eating disorder services and treatments.

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