Oral Presentation Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting 2014

Diabetes distress and depression: facing challenges, bringing solutions (#26)

Jane Speight 1 , C Hendrieckx 2 , Ann Morris 3 , L Beeney 4 , J Halliday 1 , L Tyrrell 5
  1. The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, VIC
  2. Deakin University, VIC
  3. St John of God Healthcare, Warrnambool, VIC, Australia
  4. University of Sydney, NSW
  5. Mental Health Professionals Network, VIC

It is well recognised that people with diabetes are at higher risk of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, than the general population, and that the presence of these conditions has negative implications for diabetes management and outcomes. The Diabetes MILES Study of 3,338 Australian adults with diabetes indicated that 1 in 4 experienced moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms, 1 in 6 experienced moderate-to-severe anxiety symptoms, and 1 in 5 experienced severe diabetes-related distress. Recent evidence suggests that health professionals need to be more cognisant of the burden of diabetes-related distress and how this can be reduced. Unfortunately, in clinical practice, mental health problems are often not identified, due to a number of barriers (e.g. time, resources). In particular, health professionals report lacking either the skills or confidence to “open the can of worms” and talk about mental health with people with diabetes. This practical symposium aims to equip health professionals with information and resources for understanding and communicating about common mental health problems. We discuss the latest evidence, barriers to discussion of mental health, how to have “the conversation”, and introduce some of the resources currently in development to assist health professionals in addressing this important issue.