Diabetes Australia to tackle diabetes-related stigma for National Diabetes Week 25 June 2021 More than 80 per cent of people with diabetes report feeling blamed or shamed by people because they live with the condition. This year for National Diabetes Week (11 – 17 July), Diabetes Australia is encouraging Australians to change the conversation and end the diabetes blame and shame. The organisation is delivering the second year of its three-year Heads up on Diabetes campaign with a focus on diabetes-related stigma. The campaign will ask people “Would you mind?” if you were judged or blamed for living with a health condition anyone can get. Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said diabetes has a stigma problem. “Stigma can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health and their ability to manage their diabetes,” Professor Johnson said. “This stigma can mean people with diabetes disengage from their diabetes healthcare which can lead to an increased risk of serious diabetes-related complications.” Some examples of the ways that people with diabetes experience stigma include: being blamed for causing their diabetes or its complications being judged, e.g. when eating certain foods being treated differently, e.g. stares or comments when they inject insulin, have a hypo, eat certain foods self-blame and shame for having diabetes Because of stigma (or fear of stigma), people with diabetes sometimes hide their condition from others. This is because they: fear being judged or blamed for causing their condition do not want to deal with people’s misconceptions about the condition and how to manage it (e.g. around food choices and treatments) do not want to answer lots of questions about diabetes do not want to worry or shock people, or attract sympathy fear of being discriminated against wish to distance themself from society’s negative portrayals of people with diabetes. Campaign materials will be available from the Heads Up Diabetes website shortly.