Giving emotional and mental health support as a healthcare professional

Emotional and mental health support is too often missing for people living with diabetes.

We’re calling on health services in the UK to create national standards for diabetes emotional and mental health support, including:

  • Everyone is asked how they are feeling as part of every diabetes appointment.
  • A mental health professional with knowledge of diabetes is part of every diabetes care team.

What we’d like to change

We know there is a need for more emotional and mental health support for people affected by all types of diabetes. The right support can help improve people’s mental wellbeing and physical outcomes. As healthcare professionals we know you recognise this need, and there is good practice being implemented across the UK.

But, we also know that people affected by diabetes and GPs, among other healthcare professionals, don’t feel enough support is out there. People living with diabetes, and those that care for them, have told us that they sometimes feel they aren’t helped in talking about their emotional and mental health. Where specialist mental health services are needed, we know that sometimes it can be difficult to provide them for the people that need them due to challenges around resources, infrastructure, and workforce.

How we’re helping to make that change

In order to provide person centred diabetes care, diabetes specialists and mental health professionals should be trained about how diabetes impacts people’s emotional health.

Diabetes staff should check in with people during routine appointments to make sure they’re coping with their diabetes, and to provide space for them to talk about their emotional wellbeing. Our guide for healthcare professionals, Diabetes and emotional health, can be used to help explain how diabetes can affect emotional and psychological health and provide guidance on care.

We know that sometimes, people may need help from a trained mental health professional who understands diabetes. We’re working to ensure more support from decision makers, and involving healthcare professionals and people affected by diabetes. If you would like to help us, please get in touch.

Get involved

If you feel there isn’t enough support for people affected by diabetes, you can sign the petition calling for a resourced best practice national care pathway to be created

You can use our Diabetes and emotional health guide.

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