Diabetes & Mental Illness

Monitoring and maintaining you mental health goes hand in hand with ensuring your bodies are well taken care of. Studies show that people living with a mental illness have an increased risk of other conditions as well, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. In fact, many of our peers at TMWC live with either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.

A study by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) found that people with severe mental illness are more than twice as likely to have Type 2 diabetes. The study also shows that those living with severe mental illness have more fragile life circumstances, including food insecurity, low income, and unstable housing situation, all of which can increase the risk of diabetes.

According to Peer Education Director Katie, "Diabetes is a 24/7 disease that requires a great deal of self-responsibility." If you are struggling with taking care of your diabetes, please contact your doctor for assistance.

Katie also suggests that the best way members with diabetes can monitor their illness when attending TMWC is to carry a complete glucose testing kit (lancets, test strips, & monitor) and medication if needed. "It is important that members take care of themselves while at TMWC," says Katie. She also suggests bringing a healthy lunch or snack depending on the amount of time you will be here.

At TMWC, we care about the needs and safety of all of our members which is why we offer a Diabetes Support group every Thursday at 11 a.m. and a Coping Skills for Diabetes PEP course. Check with a peer supporter about signing up for the next class.

Similar to mental illness, you cannot always tell if someone is living with diabetes by just looking at them. Remember to always be kind, ask for help, or offer support when needed.