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Tue, 19 January 2021

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By Baroness Young
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Featured Event: The missing link in diabetes care

Featured Event: The missing link in diabetes care

Geoff Lyons

3 min read

A new report by Diabetes UK calls for emotional support to be included in diabetes care


Diabetes UK, the leading charity for people living with diabetes.


A reception to mark the launch of a new report: 'Too often missing: Making emotional and psychological support routine in diabetes care.' 

Diabetes is traditionally seen as just a physical condition, but in reality the demands of living with it can affect how people feel. This in turn can make it difficult to keep on top of self-management, creating what the report calls a “two-way relationship between diabetes and emotional and psychological wellbeing.”

To get a better idea of how the condition can impact mental health, Diabetes UK surveyed over 1,000 GPs, 300 parents and carers, 150 NHS healthcare professionals, and more than 2,000 people living with diabetes. They found that seven in ten people living with the condition are overwhelmed by the demands it puts on them. People feel frustrated, angry, fearful, even guilty, which can lead to depression and anxiety. Two in five people with Type 1 diabetes develop eating disorders, such as over and under eating and excessive carbohydrate counting, and some patients develop diabetes-specific fears such as needle phobia or fear of hypoglycemia.


To raise awareness of the psychological strain that diabetes can have on patients and to call on government and healthcare professionals to incorporate psychological wellbeing in diabetes care.


The report wants to see the inclusion of emotional and psychological support in diabetes care. Diabetes UK are calling for national standards for diabetes emotional and mental health support based on current best practice examples around the country.


“Diabetes is more than just a physical condition. Living with diabetes can be tough, and keeping on top of it can be a constant challenge. That’s why emotional and psychological support must be a part of all diabetes care, and should include information, education, and peer support.” Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK

“We have a prime minister who lives with diabetes, and I think she has set an example through her perseverance and fortitude and is a testament to the fact that diabetes need not be a barrier to you doing anything in your life.” Luke Graham MP

“Being diagnosed with diabetes is overwhelming. You need to learn whole new way of life. There’s no handbook. And so much of it relies on your mental strength. This is why we need standards of care for mental health and diabetes.” Laura Bull, a young professional from Chelmsford living with diabetes

“I think a lot of people with diabetes have not been at ease with discussing the issues that we know a lot of people with diabetes face, and I think it’s really healthy to see a lot of that stigma falling away now.” Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director for diabetes and obesity at NHS England


Help Diabetes UK make emotional and mental health support a part of everyone’s diabetes care. Visit their website at:


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