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New viral video tackles diabetes bullies

Monday 08 June 2009

Diabetes UK has released a short, gritty video called ‘Setting the record straight’, to show schoolchildren and young people about Type 1 diabetes. 

The two-minute film aims to dispel common myths about Type 1 diabetes and stop young people with the condition from experiencing bullying based on ignorance and misconceptions. It shows a group of teenagers in a classroom teasing a girl for reasons unknown to viewers. The girl then turns to the camera and explains that she has Type 1 diabetes and dispels myths and inaccuracies.

Reflecting the real issues

All comments based on real experiences

Before developing the video, Diabetes UK invited young people with diabetes to share their experience of bullying so that the campaign could accurately reflect the issues they face. All the comments in the film are based on real experiences.

Some young people who responded reported incidents of being called “drug addicts” by their peers and of being shunned because some think that diabetes is “contagious”. Another common misconception is the belief that a young person has diabetes because they “ate too many sweets”.

Receptive to new technologies

“The anti-bullying viral video is a different way of letting young people know more about Type 1 diabetes and helping them understand that other young people with the condition should not be singled out or victimised," said Amanda Neylon, Digital Media Manager at Diabetes UK.

"We know that young people are especially receptive to new technologies and we are always keen to use the internet and social networking sites to communicate with them.”

Share the video with family and friends

A viral campaign aimed at young people, the video is designed to be shared among family and friends. The film is available on Diabetes UK’s YouTube channel, pages on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, and here on the Diabetes UK 'My life' website for teenagers with diabetes. You can also read a news story about the video on the BBC News website.