Reducing the risk of suicide in people with diabetes

Diabetes UK | 4 January 2022 | Reducing the risk of suicide in people with diabetes

Suicide and diabetes isn’t something that’s generally talked about. But we should be talking about it, says Simon O’Neill, Diabetes UK’s Director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison. Here he explains why and what to do if you need help or want to help a loved one.

Diabetes can be hard to live with. The daily grind of checking blood glucose levels, carb-counting, insulin adjustment and dealing with hypos and highs can take its toll. It’s relentless and there’s no day off. Unsurprisingly diabetes burnout, when you’ve just had enough, is common. We also know that depression is twice as likely if you have diabetes and that 60 per cent of people with diabetes struggle with their mental wellbeing at some point.

So it isn’t that surprising that people with diabetes have double the risk of suicide or intentional self injury compared with the general population. But that isn’t something that’s widely talked about.

The RESCUE collaborative community are trying to do just that – start talking about suicide and self harm in diabetes – and to make sure that help and support are there if people need it. I’m part of that collaborative, to ensure that the voices of people with diabetes are right at the heart of the conversation (Source: DiabetesUK).

Full details from Diabetes UK

Diabetes Distress Is About the Person Not Just the Numbers

McCall, B. | 17 November 2021 | Diabetes Distress Is About the Person Not Just the Numbers via MedScape

This article from Medscape summarises two presentations that were given at the recent Diabetes Professional Care (DPC) conference on 11 November 2021.

Dr Anne Kilvert, consultant physician, Northamptonshire Community Diabetes Team, presented a workshop at the 2021 Diabetes Professional Care (DPC) conference, on addressing mental health and well-being during the consultation with people with diabetes.

“It’s about not just focusing on the numbers around diabetes – they do have to be addressed, but it’s about talking to the person and finding out how their diabetes is affecting them and their life more broadly,” she said. “People with diabetes ask, ‘look at me as a person – not at the numbers’,” she told Medscape UK.

Professor Barnard-Kelly spoke at the session Suicide, Self-Injury and Diabetes – a multi-pronged approach by the FDA RESCUE Collaborative Community. Dr Barnard-Kelly said: “Rates of suicide are reportedly twice as prevalent amongst people with diabetes as the general population, however it is likely this figure is an under-estimation due to problems with identification and reporting. Many HCPs underestimated the prevalence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, however this likely reflects challenges with disclosure.”

More information about each of the sessions is available from MedScape

Exclusive: Role of diabetes nurse ‘evolving’ to plug mental health gap

Nursing Times | October 2018 | Exclusive: Role of diabetes nurse ‘evolving’ to plug mental health gap

The latest article in the Nursing Times explains how diabetes nurses are supporting patients with diabetes with their mental health, who are unable to access treatment elsewhere. The article cites Diabetes UK data which found 3 in 5 patients with the condition experience mental health or emotional problems, including depression, anxiety and needle phobia. 

Lesley Mills, consultant nurse in diabetes at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, explains how the role is “evolving” to encompass patients to address gaps for these patients. As such diabetes specialist nurses were extending their remit to support patients with diabetes.

“There are not enough psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors and all these people do need that help so it’s evolved to often the work of the nurse specialist to do at least some of that work,” Ms Mills told Nursing Times.

“There are things like NICE guidance that say they should have access to those people but if those people don’t exist or the waiting list is six months before they can be seen then we have got to do something,” she said. (Source: Nursing Times)

The full, unedited news piece is available from the Nursing Times 


Related article: Nursing Times Diabetics more likely to die from suicide, accidents and alcohol [Please request from the Library