Emotional support needs among diabetes on the rise
A total of 15 per cent of people with diabetes needed specialist emotion support in the past year to help them cope with their condition, according to a recent survey.
Conducted by Diabetes UK, more than 2,000 from across the UK were asked about their emotional and mental health support.
The findings also showed that three-quarters of those who needed specialist emotional support could not access it.
The Diabetes UK helpline received nearly 3,000 calls in 2018 from people who wanted emotional support, which is 37 per cent of all inbound calls. That’s the highest percentage of calls for advice on a single topic, with other topics ranging from advice on diet and lifestyle to treatment and insulin.
Economic analysis shows that poor mental health increases the average cost of NHS service use by each person with a long-term condition from approximately £3910 to £5670 per year.
When emotional and mental health support is part of diabetes care, people can manage their condition better, and in turn pressure on services is reduced and money is saved. But provision of such services is extremely patchy across the UK.
A Diabetes UK petition signed by 20,000 people is urging government to ensure that all health services in the UK create national standards for diabetes and emotional and mental health support.
Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “With 3.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, there is now a real and urgent need for all services to recognise the impact the condition can have on people’s mental health, and take decisive action.
“People with diabetes deserve care that sees and supports the whole person, based on their personal needs, experiences and circumstances. Everyone affected by the condition must have access to the support they need, when they need it, to help improve both their mental and physical health, and ultimately, their quality of life.”
The petition was handed to the Department of Health on 24 July.