About Etelän-SYLI ry

Etelän-SYLI ry is a non-profit association operating in the Helsinki and Uusimaa area. We are a part of The Eating Disorder Association of Finland (Syömishäiriöliitto – SYLI ry). We offer information, guidance and peer support for people with eating disorders and their families and friends.


English-speakers’ peer support group chat

The purpose of the group chat is to maintain hope and offer a safe place where one can share thoughts and feelings.

Joining the group chat requires registration. You can register under a screen name here and find the group chat here. The language of the website is Finnish, but the chat is in English. Chat hosts are Etelän-SYLI’s trained volunteers. 

For more information, contact info(at)etelansyli.fi

Email support

We also offer peer support by email. You can write to Roosa, roosa(at)etelansyli.fi, or to Nina, nina(at)etelansyli.fi, or to Vilma, vilma(at)etelansyli.fi. Vilma gives support to families and friends.

Roosa’s story:

”Hello, I’m Roosa and 30 years old. From age 17, I struggled for about 5 years with anorexia that included both compulsive exercising, anxiety and lots of control as well as depression. Only much later have I understood how up until that fragile age of 17, my perfectionism and achievement-oriented attitude had been the driving forces of my life.

I had always felt like I wasn’t good enough if it wasn’t for my external achievements and recognition. I felt I was not enough simply as myself by simple being and not always doing. Letting go of this mental mindset has been, without a doubt, the best thing that’s happened to me.

The cornerstones of my recovery were the open and honest conversations with both professionals as well as my family and friends. Admitting, confronting and finally accepting even my most sensitive and sometimes shameful feelings and fears were crucial in terms of my path to recovery.

Realizing, that actually being open, honest and vulnerable is the source of greatest strength. I now know that regardless of any external achievements of lack of them, I am always enough and I am always worthy of love.

I want to support others in this journey as much as I can. I would love to listen, share my thoughts and feelings and offer my own experiences in hopes that no one needs to feels they are alone with their struggles or that they are not enough just by being themselves exactly as they are today.

Please feel free to contact me, I’m here to listen and support. I will try to answer all messages within 7 days.”

Nina’s story

”Hi, I am Nina (49 years old) from Austria. My background is from an alkoholistic family. When I was a little girl I had to take control and care of myself and my little brother, I had to be in charge of household and there was not much time left for a happy childhood. No wonder that I was always trying to get love and understanding in the role of “good girl”.

With 13 my feelings went up-side-down, because I could not handle the possible upcoming changes of body – I did not have the right to grow woman (as I had my very beautiful mother on my side who had always the first-lady-role and needed me to be her little girl forever).

So I tried to stay child, ”sweet” but had to be ”small”. I started to control my eating habits and did hide all sweets (”Sweet was not for me”). I tried to do sports for not gaining weight.

Later, with age 25, I spent two years abroad, studying Spanish language and fell in love head over heals. From there on, the need for control grew – compulsional sports and gymnastics, very little food. I thought that for my Spanish lover I had to be as skinny as possible, because otherwise he would leave me.

I was lucky to get over this phase, as I returned to Austria and decided to change my eating habits – I wanted to live a normal life and enjoy it. With the help of psychotherapy (about 4 years) I got a lot of self-confidence and optimism.

After all these years, I understood that unconditional control and the painful search for love are mostly a result of my childhood. Transition-periods, teenager-phases and significant happenings in life were triggers. We have to be pacient, grow empathy and unconditional love for ourselves!

I am happy to share opinions and experiences with you, I will listen and be there! You may write in English, German or Spanish. I check my mailbox every week and try to answer within a few days.”

Contact information

Our office is located in Helsinki, Kaapelitehdas (The Cable Factory) in Ruoholahti (stairway B, 4th floor).

Postal address:
Etelän-SYLI ry
Tallberginkatu 1 C 115
00180 Helsinki


Take a path towards recovery

Most of the patients recover to a level where they can continue leading a normal life.

We know that it is possible to recover by taking small steps, receiving professional care and listening to oneself along the way.

Always remember: There is hope, help and support available!