Thomas George urges Lismore residents to consider emotional burden of diabetes during National Diabetes Week

National Diabetes Week 13 - 19 July

July 2014 – Local MP, Thomas George, is calling on Lismore residents to consider the emotional toll that diabetes can have on people living with or caring for someone with diabetes this National Diabetes Week, 13 to 19 July.

In the Lismore electorate alone, there are approximately 2,500 people living with diabetes.

The psychological side-effects of living with diabetes can often be neglected or underestimated, particularly upon diagnosis, according to a new survey conducted by Diabetes NSW on 150 of its members.

The results indicate that many people living with diabetes experienced a range of negative emotions when first diagnosed. People living with type 1 diabetes indicated they felt anxious (32.6%), shocked (25.6%), confused (30.2%) and sad (27.9%) when first diagnosed.1 Those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes reported similar feelings; 29.7% were anxious, 19.2% were shocked, and 16.3% were confused or sad. (1)

In addition, while just 14% of those with type 1 diabetes were accepting of their diagnosis, 42.3% of those Australians diagnosed with type 2 diabetes reported that they accepted their diagnosis. (1)

“A diabetes diagnosis can be frightening for those affected and their loved ones” says Sturt Eastwood, CEO, Diabetes NSW. “Diabetes NSW is here to support anyone impacted by diabetes. This National Diabetes Week we’re launching a new diabetes guide to help those who know someone with diabetes understand and support their friend, colleague or loved one.”

“It concerns me to think that locals from the Lismore area with diabetes are faced with a range of challenges and complications that can impact their emotional wellbeing, not just their physical health, and that these are often overlooked,” Mr George said.

During National Diabetes Week, Diabetes NSW is encouraging all Lismore residents to be aware of their emotional health and wellbeing when living with diabetes.

“People should not feel alone in their diagnosis. We must recognise that looking after ourselves emotionally is just as important as looking after ourselves physically, particularly when dealing with a diabetes diagnosis. Make sure you are able to talk to someone about how you’re feeling,” said Mr Eastwood.

Simple tips from Diabetes NSW to keep a healthy body and mind:

For more information about Diabetes NSW activities and events during National Diabetes Week please visit

People who are concerned about diabetes and would like to speak with an expert can also call Diabetes NSW toll free line on 1300 342 238

Media Enquiries

Rachel Stanton – 02 8281 3268 /

Carly Vale – 02 8281 3218 /

About First Diagnosis of Diabetes Survey

During a four week period between April-May 2014, Diabetes NSW conducted a survey of members living with diabetes titled ‘First Diagnosis of Diabetes’. This survey was created to better understand the mental and emotional impact that diagnosis has on a person.

About Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease which occurs when your body either does not make insulin or when the insulin it does make is in insufficient quantities or does not work properly. This leads to increased blood glucose levels and diabetes.

More than three million or one in four Australian adults over the age of 25 have either diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance (pre-diabetes). There are two main types: type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease which is usually diagnosed in childhood and requires injections of insulin and type 2 diabetes, which represents 85-90% of all cases. Type 2 has a number of risk factors, including family history, ethnic background, being overweight and ageing. Lifestyle factors such as unhealthy eating and a lack of physical activity can also contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be managed by healthy lifestyle changes and/or medication.

About Diabetes NSW*

Diabetes NSW represents more than 200,000 members and supporters and is one of the State’s largest open communities. We are a vibrant and committed organisation, providing support for people living with diabetes through education, lifestyle programs and a range of services. For more information or to make a donation, contact Diabetes NSW toll free on 1300 342 238, or visit

*Australian Diabetes Council trading as Diabetes NSW


  1. Diabetes NSW. 2014. ‘First Diagnosis of Diabetes’ Survey Results. Data on file
  2. Better Health Channel. 2014. 10 tips for living with depression. [Last accessed on 14 April 2014].
  3. Health. 2014. 17 Ways to Avoid Depression Relapse.,,20431660_8,00.html. [Last accessed on 14 April 2014].

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.