As someone who has lived with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) since 1985, I know first hand the ups and downs of daily management and the stressors and exhaustion of living with an autoimmune condition that requires 24/7/365 management and attention. If you have found my page and also live with diabetes (Type 1, Type 2, Type 3c, Gestational, LADA, MODY) or care for someone who lives with any type of diabetes, you also know firsthand the emotional toll that it can have in many aspects of your life.
Below are some of my favorite resources and organizations promoting living well with diabetes. Finding a therapist and a community who “gets it” is important for many. Those living with diabetes uniquely understand; the real fear of low blood sugars, the pain and frustration of accidentally ripping off an infusion site, the complex relationship with food that sometimes develops and the exhausting planning that goes into decision making each day. Whether you are the one living with diabetes or are the parent or caregiver of someone living with diabetes, know that you don’t have to do it alone.
I welcome anyone living with diabetes to reach out
if you have any questions about what it could look like to get support from a Social Worker/Psychotherapist
Did you know that Diabetes Distress
is common amongst people living with diabetes. It refers to the range of worries, concerns and fears that can build and remain over time. It is estimated that it impacts 40-50% of people living with Type 1 or 2 at some point in time. If you are struggling with Diabetes Distress
, which can arise at any time, please know you are not alone. However, we tend to see it more commonly at times of transition. If you are curious about Diabetes Distress, you can take this clinically validated tool
to assess your Diabetes Distress. Many find it interesting to assess where they fall on the scale.
Connected in Motion
Connected in Motion,
a registered charity, believes in creating a “culture of support and engagement in diabetes self-management through experiential diabetes education and outdoor adventure pursuits.” Once you leave pediatric care, it can feel a little lonely on your own as an adult with T1D. Connected in Motion allows you to create a community amongst peers.
I have been a participant, volunteer and speaker with Connected in Motion over the years. They have in-person events across North America and virtual events where people join from around the world. Their flagship event is called a ‘Slipstream’. Just like birds flying in a ‘slipstream’, it can feel easier to be carried along in the current of like-minded individuals. This could push you out of your comfort zone to try new adventures and consider living and thinking about diabetes in new ways. Maybe I will see you in a future Slipstream
Beyond Type 1
Beyond Type 1
is a charitable organization hoping to change what it means to live with diabetes. It has an excellent range of resources and topics on its website and they have expanded to also have a Beyond Type 2
community page. Some of my favorite sections are: Food and Diabetes
, Pregnancy and Diabetes
and of course, an excellent Mental Health and Diabetes
resource area with a range of articles from diabulimia, anxiety, diabetes distress, caregiver burnout and more!
Children with Diabetes
Children with Diabetes
has a wealth of information on its website and is not just for children! It has grown to encompass information and programming for adults living with T1D and families. Some popular landings on their site include: Diabetes and School
, Traveling with Diabetes
and a book section with a range of suggestions for kids and teens
and/or parents and adults
. A lot of good basic information and the opportunity to take some deeper dives as well.
Disney and Diabetes
Yes, you read that right, Disney and Diabetes
! Did you know that Disney and Lilly Diabetes partnered to create a series of books for kids with T1D! They range from the littlest reader in your life to the tween and cover a range of topics. From sleepovers, going back to school, playing on a team after your diagnosis and they even have a separate printables section
to check out! Representation matters and kids love seeing and reading about other kids who live with T1D.
If you are a parent of a child with T1D, perhaps you may want to explore Diabetes Camp, also known as D-Camp
run by Diabetes Canada. Camp provides a chance to connect with other children and families and has become part of a long standing tradition of having the unique opportunity to have a whole cabin full of T1D friends. I encourage everyone to explore if summer camp is the right choice for your family. I am a proud alumni and it had such a positive impact on living well with diabetes while growing up and giving me confidence and compassion for the road ahead with T1D.
Here are two diabetes related podcasts that I enjoy and can be found on my playlist.
The Juice Box Podcast
covers a huge range of issues. A little something for everyone. Includes great practical tips and comments and stories of living with diabetes.
The Diabetes Psychologist
(a.k.a Dr. Mark) is a Psychologist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and lives with diabetes. His podcast has a focus on mental health and diabetes with a goal to give actionable and practical strategies.