Help is a phone call away An innovative telephone-based “buddy system” service, Connect2, has been launched by Diabetes Queensland, reaching out to people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes – and, importantly, also providing an invaluable means of secondary support for health professionals. As Diabetes Queensland’s Udani Abeypala explains, the initiative matches trained volunteers (peer supporters who have effectively managed type 2 diabetes for several years) with newly diagnosed participants. It aims to relieve anxiety, emotional isolation and improve self-management. “Fear of the unknown and a lack of understanding of the long-term consequences of type 2 diabetes is one of the biggest challenges facing people newly diagnosed with the condition – something that affects up to 60 Queenslanders every day,” Ms Abeypala said. “It’s important to understand that speaking with someone who has shared similar experiences and challenges is invaluable for people who may not instantly connect in the same way with health care professionals. “This is not a negative. The ‘buddy system’ approach works to break down fear of the unknown, with a positive off-shoot being that participants then feel more confident to engage with health care professionals and to improve self-management – a win-win for all.” Ms Abeypala said the trained peer supporters were not intended to replace the work of health professionals and, of note, would not provide medical advice. The Connect2 program, which goes live in December 2013, is the second telephone-based peer support service launched by Diabetes Queensland. The first, You2Connect, targets women newly diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GDM) – a condition estimated to affect between five and
What’s on in 2014 – Calendar Dates For health professionals
Understanding diabetes Diabetes education for support workers Diabetes Queensland, Milton 9.00am-12.00pm
For people living with diabetes
15 and 20 Jan
Know the score community presentation Centacare, Enogerra 11.30am-12.30pm
20 and 27 Feb
Diabetes – What now? Diabetes Queensland, Milton 5.30pm-7.30pm
Session 1 - 20 February Session 2 - 27 February
EXPOsing diabetes Kingaroy RSL 8.30am-3.30pm
*Dates and activities are correct at time of print and may be subject to change. We recommend that you check the website for details. n For more information about how Diabetes Queensland supports health professionals via a range of targeted services and programs, visit www.diabetesqld.org.au/health-professionals/ services-and-programs/ n For a full list of Diabetes Queensland activities
eight per cent of all pregnancies. If you think your patients with type 2 diabetes or GDM could benefit
from participating in Connect2 or You2Connect, respectively, please contact Udani Abeypala via
and services available in your local area – visit www.diabetesqld.org.au/get-involved
email@example.com or call 1300 136 588 for more information.
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Diabetes Network – Summer 2013/14 Diab tes Queensland
1300 136 588
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