Community Support Group Pilot Project

The Cause

Each year the Alberta Diabetes Foundation receives hundreds of calls and requests from newly diagnosed and individuals living with diabetes. We would like to establish peer support groups to create a diabetes community to share advice and information. We have spent the last six month developing a plan for support groups in Alberta. As our former Board chair, Jim Kanerva, father of two young diabetic children said in his book, Dana’s Disease: It is hard to visualize what is at the working heart of this mysterious and ruinous disease…and what life with diabetes is like and what struggles are faced on a daily basis. We would like to provide assistance and moral support by organizing monthly support groups, for parents of Type 1 diabetic kids, and Type 2 diabetics and their families by bringing in Diabetes experts and people with similar experiences.

The main goal of this one year pilot project is getting people together, sharing experiences, and helping each other. The groups would be managed by the staff member, but each session would be led by an experienced professional with diabetes education background, and/or a parent who is a ‘diabetes veteran’. The sessions will be videotaped and available for distribution all over the province to be used as educational and support materials.

Who Will it Benefit?

Diabetic community and their families, especially newly diagnosed patients in need of direction and help in that difficult time.

The goal of the Alberta Diabetes Foundation Community Outreach Initiative is to build awareness about diabetes and provide support to those individuals and their families living with diabetes. One of the ways of supporting community is developing Diabetes Support Groups. It is often not talked about, but studies show that people with diabetes have a greater risk of depression than people without diabetes. Even with the most meticulous management of the disease, diabetes is difficult to control because there are so many factors affecting blood sugar levels. The stress of daily diabetes management can build for both the individual living with diabetes and their family. With the newly diagnosed numbers rising, the awareness campaign was never this important.