September 12, 2023 – Canada-wide – Mental health matters. Especially for those living with diabetes, a chronic condition affecting more than 4 million Canadians.
Diabetes can be a very challenging condition to live with, often requiring constant planning and vigilance, but a strong support network and the right care help to reduce the burden. However, it isn’t always easy to find the necessary support, especially when it comes to mental health.
To better help address some of the many gaps in mental health support for people with diabetes, in 2021, JDRF Canada launched a Mental Health Strategy to fund research, train mental health providers, and engage and educate healthcare providers and the type 1 diabetes community on mental health. Collaborations and partnerships with organizations like Diabetes Canada and others working in the areas of diabetes and mental health has been crucial to see the strategy develop and be realized.
The Mental Health + Diabetes Training Program, designed and implemented by JDRF Canada in collaboration with Diabetes Canada, aims to help to fill a gap in Canadian health systems. This bilingual program, launched in late 2022, provides knowledge and tools to help registered Canadian mental health providers deliver the best support to their clients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and expand the capacity of health systems to meet this currently underserved need.
As a result, JDRF Canada, in collaboration with Diabetes Canada is able to launch the Mental Health + Diabetes Directory. The Directory is intended to act as a connection tool, to provide people living with or affected by diabetes with access to information about registered mental health providers who have engaged in additional training to provide mental health support specific to addressing the realities of living with diabetes. Every mental health provider included in the Directory has successfully completed the Mental Health + Diabetes Training Program. The Directory will continue to expand as more mental health providers are trained.
Both the Training Program and Directory will help to close gaps in both the delivery of and access to mental health supports for those living with diabetes across Canada.
Dr. Sarah Linklater, Chief Scientific Officer – JDRF Canada
“Through the Mental Health + Diabetes Training Program and now the launch of the Directory, JDRF Canada aims to increase the capacity of Canadian mental health providers to support people with diabetes and, in turn, improve their quality of life and health outcomes. Working together with Diabetes Canada will allow us to expand the reach of these initiatives and we continue to be so grateful for their support and collaboration.”
Laura Syron, CEO & President – Diabetes Canada
“As someone who lives with diabetes, I know first-hand the strain this chronic condition can place on your mental and emotional health. Through innovative partnerships like this one with JDRF, Diabetes Canada is proud to play a role in building better mental health supports and care for people living with diabetes in Canada. This directory will empower health-care providers to address the holistic needs of their patients and provide them with the resources and tools to live well with their condition.”
Monica Murray, M.Ed. (OACCPP), RP
“The upcoming launch of The Mental Health + Diabetes Directory is an exciting initiative from JDRF Canada and Diabetes Canada. This directory will feature professionals who understand the complexities associated with this chronic disease since they have all completed extensive training on the diabetes-specific challenges experienced by clients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The Mental Health + Diabetes Directory will be an excellent resource for clients with diabetes and for their family members as well.”
Henri Ng-Wan, CRHA
When I received my diagnosis, I remember having a tough time accepting my new reality. After a few months, I got the courage to ask my endocrinologist for a referral and even though she wanted to help me, she was not able to give me any reference as she was also struggling to find mental health specialists for other patients. The same thing happened when I reached out to a Quebec-based association whose mission is to support people living with diabetes. The directory responds to the needs of our community and was a missing tool for our healthcare professionals.
About JDRF Canada
JDRF Canada is the leading charitable organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research in Canada. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, governments, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout Canada and five international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our shared vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.ca
About Diabetes Canada
A world free of the effects of diabetes is our vision. That’s why we’re working together to improve the quality of life of people living with diabetes. We’re sharing knowledge and creating connections for individuals and the health-care professionals who care for them; advocating through public policy; and funding research to improve treatments and find a cure to end diabetes.