National Diabetes Week 2020 Update
Halfway through a difficult 2020, we are approaching National Diabetes Week.
This year’s campaign is focusing on mental health, an issue relevant to the current times, and a less publicised aspect of diabetes.
The isolation, and uncertainty of COVID-19 has had an impact on the emotional health of many people in the community.
When you add in diabetes, which puts people at increased risk from the virus, the extended isolation, and no relief from the daily stressors of diabetes itself, ‘mental health’ is an important conversation we have to have.
National Diabetes Week 2020: Heads Up on Diabetes
This year, National Diabetes Week runs from 12 – 18 July with a focus on supporting the emotional and mental health of people living with diabetes.
People living with diabetes face a barrage of decisions every day, from what they eat to how much insulin they need, to how to adjust medications in times of stress to dealing with medical technology. It’s thought that people living with diabetes can make up to 180 extra decisions each day, just to stay well and healthy.
But as you can imagine the decisions can add up to a mental and emotional stress of their own. Long before 2020, our own members told us of ‘diabetes burnout’, anxiety, depression, anger and hopelessness, stemming from the relentlessness of living with diabetes every hour of every day.
Just as cardiovascular issues, amputations and kidney problems are complications of diabetes, so too is mental health. This year has seen those stresses added to by a pandemic and its associated isolation, increased health risks, job losses and general insecurity.
This National Diabetes Week, we’ll be working to raise awareness of the mental and emotional challenges of managing diabetes and highlight the services and support available to the diabetes community. We would welcome your participation in this campaign.
Some National Diabetes Week resources are available through the website at https://www.diabetesqld.org.au
Business and usual, and more, for Diabetes Queensland
As for everyone, COVID-19 brought an abrupt stop to our usual way of operating. The good news is that we have maintained all our services, from our psychologist-on-call to advocacy, health information to our helpline.
While our face-to-face events have been postponed, we have moved to an online and over-the-phone-line space to accommodate social distancing (an especially important concern for diabetes), and we have carved out new modes of delivery, a number of which will continue and complement our usual method of information and service delivery.
We have an exciting example of this with our first Live Your Life Virtual Expo on Saturday, 18 July. This free event will deliver programs for each type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, with keynote speakers delivering important messages online, and other activities available.