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It pays to be proactive

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It pays to be proactive

A University of the Sunshine Coast Hospital initiative is helping those in the community manage their type 2 diabetes.

For many Coast residents, living with type 2 diabetes is part of their daily lives. Being proactive and creating a strong support system are the key messages for people with type 2 diabetes that’s coming out of an upcoming workshop at the University of the Sunshine Coast Hospital.

Sue Hanna was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago and agrees that being proactive, and having the support of friends, family and medical professionals are key.

“Knowing my type 2 diabetes can be largely managed through maintaining a healthy weight, ensuring a nutritious diet and engaging in regular physical activity makes me feel relieved. Surrounding myself with friends, activities and keeping socially busy. Also seeing ways to further educate myself is important,” Ms Hanna says.

When she was first diagnosed with diabetes, Ms Hanna attended the local Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) Type 2 Diabetes and Me workshop.

The free group workshop provides information on type 2 diabetes self-management, prevention awareness, healthy lifestyle behaviours and further links to community support.

“I am blessed that I feel well and healthy and I can still make good decisions,” she says. “The hardest thing about my diagnosis has been to accept that I have type 2 diabetes, manage it as best as I can and just move on with life.”

Ms Hanna says she found the workshop so beneficial to moving towards this acceptance. “Learning that I had so much power to manage my own condition and being reassured that I was doing what I needed to do gave me confidence.”

To ensure that her mind is fresh with all of the health sector recommended guidelines and tips and hints for best living with type 2 diabetes, Ms Hanna says she will be attending the course again this year and is looking forward to meeting others in the community who are living with the disease.

University of the Sunshine Coast Hospital health promotions officer Kerry Roach says there will be a total of 12 workshops for the year being hosted by the Sunshine Coast healthcare community. Workshops will be held at Gympie Community Health Centre, Caloundra Health Services and Maroochydore Health Hub.

“The workshops provide information on type 2 diabetes self-management, prevention awareness to reduce the risk of further complications, healthy lifestyle behaviours, (including good nutrition and healthy eating behaviours, engaging in physical activity, emotional wellbeing) and links to further support in the community,” Ms Roach says.

“Beyond learning and being provided with information, people experience a sense of motivation and encouragement from the workshop towards managing their healthy lifestyle behaviours, which is a key focus of diabetes self-management. The workshops are also an opportunity to network with other people living with the same condition.”

If a participant attends the workshop and feels they would like further support to manage their diabetes we are able to refer them to a range of services. We always advocate for participants to build a good relationship with their GP, ensure they are on a Chronic Disease Management Plan and have their regular tests done.  Participants receive information during the workshop on accessing rebates to allied health clinicians (for example, dietitians, podiatrists and diabetes educators).  We are also able to refer a participant to the Queensland Health Coach program, which is a free telephone support program for people with type 2 diabetes.”

The Type 2 Diabetes and Me workshops are delivered regularly across the Sunshine Coast and are open to anyone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. Family or carers are also most welcome to attend.

For further information, phone 5479 9670 or email SC-T2D-Education@health.qld.gov.au.

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