Your guide to finding the local diabetes help you need
Thursday, 25 February 2021
Being told you have type 2 diabetes can be an overwhelming experience. It’s important you find the qualified local help you need as soon as possible.
Your doctor may ask you to book in for a Chronic Disease General Practice Management Plan (GPMP) appointment. Alternatively, they may advise you to lose weight, increase exercise and return for a review in three months.
Googling type 2 diabetes can be confronting as there’s lots of ‘snake oil sellers’ trying to persuade you to pay for the latest quick fix. All this information overload can cause you to put diabetes in the ‘do later’ file in your brain.
Can be the start of a healthier life
This is a great opportunity to focus on your health and your type 2 diabetes. Taking small steps to self-manage your diabetes can reduce long-term diabetes-related complications. Finding qualified help can be simple.
Firstly, for general information about diabetes head to Diabetes Queensland’s website and go to the events and education link.
How we can help
Here you will find diabetes programs that are being run in your area as well as live webinars. Alternatively, go to the ‘How we can help’ tab and you’ll find National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) resources and videos (recorded webinars).
There’s a range of topics including food, medication, exercise, blood glucose monitoring and insulin.
DESMOND is a fantastic all-day program to help you understand and self-manage your diabetes. If you have the opportunity to attend it’s very worthwhile.
MyDESMOND is an online self-paced version of the face-to-face DESMOND program.
Find your own CDE
For advice specific to you and your health, ask your GP for a referral to a Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE). If your GP can’t recommend a particular CDE, check out the “find a CDE” function on the Australian Diabetes Educators Association website.
A CDE can help explain diabetes and support you on your diabetes journey. My children sum up my job as a CDE when they overheard me on the NDSS Helpline: “Mum is saving people’s lives,” said child one. “No! She helps people save their own lives!” replied child two.
Diabetes Educators are here to support you with your self-management of diabetes, not instruct you on how to live.
To find other health professionals important in your diabetes journey, go to the websites listed below, they all have a “find a…” function. Your GP can provide you with a Chronic Disease Self Management Plan so you receive five subsidised visits to allied health professionals each calendar year. Some health professionals now offer telehealth appointments which makes access easier if you live in an area without local health professionals.
First Nations and rural support
First Nations People are able to access an additional five visits to health professionals under Medicare Follow-up Allied Health Services for People of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Descent forms. In rural and remote locations there is also access to primary health network funding. Federal Government funding provides additional allied health services to rural and remote regions. Go to the interactive map locator to find your local Primary Health Network.
Mental health support is also available to assist with diabetes burnout. See your GP for a Mental Health Care Plan for up to 10 visits to a counsellor or psychologist.
If you do not have access to the internet, find your nearest community health centre by contacting 13HEALTH (13 432 584). They will be able to advise you of local health professionals and also visiting services that come to your region.
Call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 to talk to a health professional about general health advice, book programs or to locate local health professionals in your region.
Good luck with developing a diabetes team that helps you to live a long and healthy life.
By Pollyemma Antees, APD and CDE