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Mental health

It is important to keep a healthy mind while living with diabetes.

Managing your diabetes can at times be stressful. Living with diabetes and managing it well can involve a lot of thinking, planning and problem solving. It can take a toll on your emotional well-being. It’s not surprising that many people with diabetes—as well as those who care for someone with diabetes—feel emotional.

It is understandable if you feel this way too. Sometimes, nothing seems to go right. You may feel like you are ‘failing’ with your diabetes management—this can make it very difficult to stay motivated and to take care of your health. Sometimes, it can be hard to focus on other aspects of life, like work or school, and family or friends. It can also be hard to feel confident when others don’t really understand what you are going through, especially if you feel they are judging you for having diabetes or for the way you are managing it.

Feeling down or worried about your diabetes doesn’t necessarily mean you have a mental health condition. But, if you do, you are not alone, and help is available. Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health conditions that people in Australia experience. Whether they have diabetes or not. Having depression or anxiety may not be related to your diabetes, but it can affect the way you feel about your diabetes. If you think you may be experiencing depression or anxiety, it is important to seek help from a qualified health professional.

Below is a list of fact sheets on diabetes and mental health. Each one offers information, tips and support to help you identify whether you need help, and where and how to get it.

If you have any concerns about how you feel, talk to your health professional. Your doctor is a good place to start. You might like to bring the relevant fact sheet(s) along to your consultation to start the conversation. This will help your health professional understand how you are feeling. If you and your doctor think you would benefit from seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist, your doctor can tell you if you are eligible for a Mental Health Treatment Plan to reduce the out-of-pocket costs involved.

Regardless of whether you have a mental health condition, it is important to look after your emotional well-being. Sharing experiences with other people with diabetes can help you feel less alone and better supported.

Read more about where and how you can access support in our fact sheet Peer support for diabetes.

More information and support

Head to Health

Easy online access to a range of mental health information, advice and treatment options, enabling people to seek support in times of need, or when it is most convenient for them.

Beyondblue on 1300 224 636

Information and support for people with depression or anxiety, or who are going through a tough time. Support services are available via phone, email or chat, including online forums where you can connect with others.

Lifeline on 13 11 14

For 24-hour confidential telephone and online crisis support. People contact Lifeline for a range of reasons, including feelings of depression, stress, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or attempts.

Headspace on 03 9027 0100

Mental health foundation for youth, providing early intervention mental health services to 12–25 year-olds. Information and services also available to young people, their family and friends, and health professionals.

Better Access to Mental Health Care, Department of Health

Information about Medicare rebates available for selected mental health services provided by GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists and eligible social workers and occupational therapists.

NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588

Diabetes Australia offers a free national NDSS Helpline, through which people with diabetes and their carers can access diabetes information, programs, activities, peer support groups, and events.

Developed in collaboration with The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, a partnership for better health between Diabetes Victoria and Deakin University