This new year, Diabetes Scotland is calling for solutions to the gaps in mental health care for people living with diabetes with the publication of a new guide highlighting best practice in Scotland.
The guide, ‘Emotional wellbeing and diabetes: A way forward’, details areas where mental health care is delivered successfully to people with diabetes. While there are examples of excellent provision of emotional, psychological and mental health support, the issue of disparity of access must be overcome.
Diabetes Scotland is campaigning for the introduction of national standards to ensure that every person with diabetes can access the same high quality mental health support as a routine part of their diabetes care.
Angela Mitchell, National Director of Diabetes Scotland, said: “Good mental health care for people with diabetes exists in Scotland but it is not yet available to everyone in an equitable way. Our report shines a light on some of the most successful programmes currently available. We need to learn from the successes of these initiatives and integrate high quality emotional and psychological support within diabetes care in every area of Scotland.
“Diabetes needs to be recognised as more than a physical condition. The self-management required every hour of every day can really take its toll on a person’s mental wellbeing but, currently, there is not adequate provision of support for people in all areas of Scotland. We have an opportunity to change that. Our wish for 2020 is for the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to introduce national standards which will ensure we have a robust, once for Scotland, approach to mental health care for all people living with diabetes.”
There are over 300,000 people living with diabetes in Scotland. It is a relentless condition which requires careful management every day to live well. If people are not supported to manage their diabetes, they are at risk of serious complications including sight loss, lower limb amputation, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke. People with diabetes are also more likely to be affected by mental health issues including anxiety and depression.
For further information on Diabetes Scotland’s campaign, visit www.diabetes.org.uk/missing.