New resource for supporting people with diabetes who are emotionally distressed

Addressing emotional problems is an important part of effectively managing diabetes. With a complex, demanding, and often confusing set of self-care directives, patients may become frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, and discouraged. Diabetes-related emotional problems are extremely common, one in four people with type 1 diabetes and one in five people with type 2 diabetes experience severe diabetes distress. People with higher distress levels have higher blood glucose and more diabetes-related complications than those with less distress.

The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, in collaboration with Diabetes Australia produced a comprehensive resource titled Diabetes and emotional health: A handbook for health professionals supporting adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The handbook has been designed as an evidence-based, practical resource to enable health professionals to identify, address, and communicate about emotional problems during consultations with adults with diabetes. It also includes a range of resources for health professionals as well as for people with diabetes.

Both the handbook and the toolkit can be accessed electronically (free of charge) via the Health Professionals tab of the NDSS website.

Factsheets are also available directly to people with diabetes electronically (free of charge) via the NDSS website.

Additionally, learning more can help to overcome frustration and gain skills and confidence in managing day-to-day life. The ComDiab Program, which is freely available in the community, provides nurse led education on a range of topics including: understanding what diabetes is and how it affects the body, making healthy food choices, being physically active and preventing complications. A relaxed and understanding environment such as this can be a great support, and can help people to cope and live a long and healthy life with diabetes.

Find out more about free Community Diabetes Education – ComDiab in your community here.