It’s time to reduce diabetes stigma this National Diabetes Week

Diabetes is a serious and complex condition which is often misunderstood. Negative community attitudes and stereotypes affect most people who live with diabetes – having a very real impact on their self-care, physical health, mental health and quality of life.

Diabetes Victoria is launching a new awareness campaign with the theme: Think again. Let’s reduce diabetes stigma.  to celebrate National Diabetes Week 2021 (Sunday 11-Saturday 17 July). National Diabetes Week is celebrated each year to raise awareness about all types of diabetes.

According to the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, more than 4 in 5 people with diabetes have experienced diabetes stigma at some point in their lives.** This means that many people with diabetes feel they have been judged or treated differently than others because of their diabetes.

“We need to reduce the blame and shame around diabetes and replace it with respect and compassion so that people living with diabetes are supported to live healthier and happier lives,” Diabetes Victoria CEO Craig Bennett said.

“There are many forms of stigma and many ways to experience stigma. Some people have been blamed or shamed for having diabetes or diabetes-related complications,” Mr Bennett said.

“Others have been judged when they eat certain foods, check their glucose levels or inject insulin in a public setting. We believe that most diabetes-related stigma is based on a lack of understanding.”

Diabetes Victoria’s campaign focuses on people living with diabetes and how diabetes stigma affects their life. The awareness-raising campaign features the stories of BJ, Carol, Justin, Jade, Shannon, Jane, Jacqueline, Simon and Gabby – who’ve all been impacted by negative attitudes about diabetes in very different ways.

“Our campaign is aimed at encouraging the public to change the way we talk about diabetes by showing compassion and respect,” Mr Bennett said.

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