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National Diabetes Week puts mental health centre stage


In 2020, National Diabetes Week focuses on the mental and emotional health impact of living with diabetes.

From 12-18 July, Diabetes Australia will raise awareness through the ‘Heads Up’ campaign about living with a dual diagnosis of diabetes and mental illness.

According to Diabetes Australia, “Up to 50% of people with diabetes are thought to also have a mental illness such as depression or anxiety".

MHPN supports seven diabetes-focussed networks across Australia which address the specific mental health needs of people living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes across the age spectrum.

Thank you to the coordinators for bringing together interdisciplinary practitioners striving to improve mental health outcomes for people living with diabetes.

For instance, the NSW Diabetes & Mental Health Network organised an online presentation on ‘Working with People from Refugee Backgrounds and the CLSR (Community Living Supports for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) program’ in March.

On the west coast, the Perth Diabetes & Mental Health Network hosted an online meeting in May, titled ‘Learnings from a Peer Support program for adolescents with T1D [Type 1 Diabetes] and their parents’.

MHPN is now supporting networks to transition back to face-to-face meetings in locations where restrictions are being lifted.

Did you know?

The conditions of self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic have raised concerns with a drop in nearly 40 per cent of pathology tests.

In an open letter on 26 May, Diabetes Australia states: “Before COVID-19 struck, we were already concerned that the number of people getting cancer screening tests was too low. We also knew that early detection and monitoring for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease were lacking, with large numbers of undiagnosed cases. COVID-19 has made these existing problems even worse".

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has published a guide for GPs treating patients living with diabetes.

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