Diabetes Australia highlights the importance of emotional health in diabetes in the UK

Diabetes Australia continues to lead the way when it comes to raising awareness of the importance of emotional health for people with diabetes with Diabetes UK recently launching a new resource for healthcare professionals.

The new guide, Diabetes and Emotional Health – a Practical Guide for Health Professionals, is adapted from a National Diabetes Services Scheme-funded resource that was developed in partnership by Diabetes Australia and the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD).

Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said understanding the emotional and behavioural side of diabetes was critical to improving quality of life for people with diabetes.

“There is more to diabetes than just the clinical side, which is usually what is focused on. It is great to see ground-breaking Australian work embraced internationally,” he said.

“Credit for the global interest in Australia’s commitment to improved understanding of how emotional well-being impacts on those living with diabetes must go to Professor Jane Speight and her team at the ACBRD.

“For many years Professor Speight and her team have recognised that diabetes is far more than just blood glucose levels.

“Despite people’s best efforts, diabetes can be unpredictable and difficult to manage. People with diabetes have higher levels of emotional distress than those without. It is essential that that healthcare professionals understand that and convey care, understanding and support, not judgement.”

Professor Johnson said understanding and supporting the emotional health of people with diabetes had the potential to influence outcomes.

“Providing healthcare professionals with the tools to have conversations about the emotional and mental health of people with diabetes can have a real influence on how people self-manage diabetes. We should be aiming for communication that increases motivation, health and well-being. This resource provides clear advice on how to do that,” Professor Johnson said.

The launch of this resource at the annual Diabetes UK conference for diabetes healthcare professionals follows on the heels of the launch of their language position statement which followed on from Diabetes Australia’s pioneering work in this area.