Why did we write this report?
In 2017, more than 9,000 people living with different types of diabetes shared their experiences with Diabetes UK to shape our Future of Diabetes report.
It revealed that one of the biggest areas of UK diabetes care that needs to improve is support for emotional and psychological wellbeing.
Diabetes is much more than just physical. Living with the condition can be tough, and keeping on top of it can be a struggle.
Surveys carried out for this report show that 7 in 10 people living with different types of diabetes feel overwhelmed by the demands it puts on them. It can also affect the emotional and psychological wellbeing of thoseclose to them.
In diabetes, psychological wellbeing and physical health have a two-way relationship.
While the demands of living with the condition can affect how people feel; struggling emotionally can make it even more difficult to keep on top of self-management. And when diabetes cannot be well managed, the risk of dangerous complications increases.
Evidence already exists to show that diabetes services that incorporate emotional and psychological support can help people improve both their physical and mental health, reduce pressure on services, and save money. But provision of such services is extremely patchy across the UK.
Alongside this, there are still some aspects we don’t yet fully understand about how diabetes impacts on emotional and psychological wellbeing, how to spot people with diabetes who are experiencing these difficulties, and how to best support them. To address this, we have brought together international experts to identify research gaps and opportunities, to help us tackle what we don’t yet fully understand. We’ll publish a second report setting out priorities for the research community later this year.
There is a real and urgent need for recognition of the impact diabetes has on people’s mental health – and action must be taken now.
Read the full report here –